Wessex Museums Launch Virtual Collection

Wessex Museums Virtual Collection goes live, featuring over 250,000 objects from four partner museums.

A collaboration between Wiltshire Museum, Poole Museum, Dorset Museum & Art Gallery, and The Salisbury Museum has resulted in the launch of the Wessex Museums Virtual Collection, offering a searchable database featuring over 250,000 artefacts. The Virtual Collection brings together nearly 30,000 images from 2 different collections management systems – MODESXML and MuseumIndex+.

The initiative, supported by Arts Council England (ACE), is aimed at making the partner museums’ collections more accessible and navigable through a user-friendly interface.

The online collection database is now live, enabling users to search for specific objects using a range of filters and to create their own virtual collections. The new database will allow searching and display of data across the Wessex Museums’ collections, providing a cohesive platform for researchers, and the public to explore the outstanding collections from the region. 

Working with The Museum Platform and Knowledge Integration, Wessex Museums has designed the database using the same digital infrastructure as the Museum Data Service, and created tools that can be used by other museums to showcase their own collections from their own websites, utilising the full potential of the Museum Data Service.

Kristina Broughton, CEO of Wessex Museums, “Wessex Museums are thrilled to launch the new virtual collections database, which showcases the cultural heritage of our region by bringing together the world class collections from our partner museums into a single site. The database has been a long-held ambition for the partnership and will enable more people to access and make connections across our partner museums’ collections in new ways.”

The Wessex Museums Virtual Collection holds extensive records spanning archaeology, fine and decorative art, ethnography, literature, social history, costume, and textiles. For Dorset Museum & Art Gallery and Poole Museum this is the first time their collections can be accessed online. The next stages of development will be for the Wessex Museums to continue to add records to the database, including adding Swindon Museums’ collections, as well as exploring potential to include other museums across Dorset and Wiltshire on the database. 


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