For most of their history, museums have viewed their visitors as passive recipients of knowledge. As a result the public image of museums is that they are rather boring and hard work. This article summarises recent work which involves the public much more in the work of the museum, and “opens up” the institution to a much greater extent than ever before. Examples are given of successful ways In which museums have worked with the public to provide them with a better experience, and to attract a wider audience. This has included new approaches to exhibitions, handling objects, new technology, and outreach work.