The British Museum has just unveiled a unique, behind-the-scenes opportunity for visitors while the museum is closed due to coronavirus safety regulations—they’ve expanded their online collection to include nearly 4.5 million objects. To add to the overwhelming number of accessible images in their digital collections, the public institution has now permitted nearly two million of these uploads to be downloaded for non-commercial use under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.
While this application can initially seem a bit confusing to the untrained visitor, the museum has provided an instruction guide for perfecting your various searches. According to the guide, when you head to their collection’s website, you can type your target topic into the search bar and use the auto-generated categories that pop up to start your search. From there, you can further refine the images that are pulled from your searches by criteria like the type of object it is, or its date of origin.
Famous pieces like The Rosetta Stone can be found in the museum's digital collection.
While The British Museum is not the first cultural institution to create some kind of digital adaptation for visitors to use amid its closure, its additions are some of the most expansive that have been released. To find out more information about The British Museum’s digital collection, and for any updates about its reopening, head to their website.