Close Look Collections is run by the Royal Pavilion & Museums, a set of museums located in Brighton & Hove on the south coast of the UK.
It has been produced in partnership with Brighton-based Mnemoscene, who have set up a new presentation of our digitised collections. This is based on open source technologies including the Universal Viewer and the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF).
In time, we’ll be using the Universal Viewer to display all our digitised collections. We have fast-tracked the creation of this website to provide an initial showcase of this technology, and to hopefully provide some distraction at a time when our physical museums are closed.
What is it?
Structurally, Close Look is a blog, but intended for short-form (fewer than 400 words) content. All contributions have to follow two rules:
- Each post must focus on a single digitised object in the collection, presented using the Universal Viewer.
- Any text in the post must always direct the reader back to the object. It may be a story, a piece of analysis, or something playful — but the words must always invite the reader to explore the object.
Why are we doing this now?
At the time of writing (30 March 2020), the UK and and millions of people across the world are currently in lockdown in order to slow the spread of Coronavirus. It’s an unsettling and anxious time for many of us.
Like many museums we’re trying to find ways to use our collections to provide some distraction online. If we can encourage you to come back daily and spend a couple of minutes immersing yourself in one of our objects, we hope that we’ll give you a moment to stop and reflect on our shared heritage.
- Edward Silverton at mnemoscene.io for the Universal Viewer client and IIIF backend implementation.
- Michael Klein at Northwestern University for serverless-iiif image tiling.
- Story contributors as credited
- Arts Council England
- Brighton & Hove City Council