The recently launched “Museums in Israel – the National Portal” is the first project of its kind to showcase Israel’s development in the preservation and nurturing of culture and heritage in the digital age. The portal is a gateway that allows the general public around the world to simply, easily and quickly access the collections of Israel’s museums online on any computer, tablet or Smartphone.
Not only are Internet users able to enjoy the richness of the collections, they also have access to many millions of entries relating to culture, stored in “Europeana,” the European digital cultural library.
The establishment of the Israeli Museums Portal is a joint venture of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Heritage Division and Israel’s dozens of officially recognized museums.
The Collections of the Museums of Israel
Dozens of museums in Israel mount permanent and temporary exhibitions throughout the year, for their audiences to enjoy. However, the pieces placed on exhibit represent but a fraction of the collections of each, and they are accompanied by other, complementary items on loan from other museums and other public and private collections in Israel and overseas.
Museum warehouses store many additional items, which are not usually available for view by researchers or others interested in using the collections in their entirety, to learn about Israel’s heritage.
All told, about 1.5 million items in any number of fields are stored in Israel’s museums: Art; Judaica; History; Archaeology; World Cultures; Nature and Science.
The portal is the digital gateway to a wealth of content and information on the museums of Israel, their permanent and temporary exhibitions and the items in the museums’ collections. The portal is open and freely accessible to the general public in Israel and elsewhere and has been developed to meet the needs of a number of audiences: researchers, students, teachers, tourists (domestic and incoming), families, visitors to museums on a regular basis, and new or walk-in visitors.
-Comparison of items retrieved from different collections and/or museums
-360 degrees view of 3D items
These features enhance the usability of the portal to students and researchers.
Internet surfers are treated to a visual experience, along with rich content and user-friendly tools for inquiry, retrieval, comparison and saving. The portal offers the public an interactive approach to three primary levels – museums, items and exhibitions.
This level is represented via a collection of museum pages. Each museum has a page in which it lists general and specific details regarding its purpose, activities, opening hours, contact and travel information, a selected assortment of all its collections, and more.
This is the first time such rich visual data on dozens of Israeli museums, have been consolidated under one roof.
A system of filters helps surfers find a specific museum based on area of specialization or region, and how to reach it using Google Maps or Waze.
Hundreds of thousands of items worthy of public attention have been chosen from among the vast collections, to be exhibited via the museum portal. Photographs of them appear on the portal, along with much information about them, such as: artist/creator; period; style; description; history; technique; origin, etc.
The portal features world-renowned items alongside little-known pieces that are now revealed to the public for the first time. Taken together, they create an impressive, unique mosaic of culture and heritage.
In addition, as the result of cooperation between Israel and Europe, the portal can be used to access Europeana, the pan-European digital library, for surfers to find, retrieve, watch and research material. The portal also features advanced tools for retrieving items and comparing between them.
The portal offers sample works from many of the exhibitions currently on show, as well as from those mounted previously in the museums. Surfers can locate the exhibition they seek, using search tools and filters, based on a wide range of criteria: museum; field; range of dates; exhibition name; curator, etc.
Past exhibitions are featured together with information regarding their theme, images of selected items shown on them and even a downloadable catalogue.