Museum Evaluation
Place-Specific Museums
Placeless Museums
Field Trips and Tours
Armchair Traveler
Interactive Field Trip
Simulated Exploration
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Adult-Produced Virtual Museums

Before you can build your own museum, you'll want to explore museums that others have created. How were they constructed? How are they organized? Start with the adult-produced museums, then visit some museums created by students.
There are many places where you can find virtual museums. We've listed some interesting museums in three categories: place-specific, placeless, and field trips or tours.
If you want to find your own examples to explore, try some of the following starting points.
You could also search for museums using Yahooligans and Disney Internet Guide.
Museum Evaluation

As you explore each site, look for the features that you think are most important. What suggestions would you provide for the developers? What are the most important elements of a virtual museum? The list on the right contains some areas to consider. You may even want to develop your own evaluation form.
  • Focus, Theme, or Format
  • Core Page
  • Site Organization
  • Navigation: menu, word search, diagram, map, timeline
  • Fonts, Headings, & Readability
  • Use of Color
  • Use of Visuals: diagrams, charts, photographs, drawing, maps, timelines, graphics
  • Types of Artifacts
  • Multimedia Elements: audio, video, animation
Place-Specific Museums
Place-specific museums are actual locations such as an art, science, or history museum. In addition to the virtual museum, there's a "real" museum that you can visit. You can wander through a building and sometimes even touch the artifacts.
The Chicago Science Museum, Louvre, Sistine Chapel, Henry Ford Museum, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are just a few. Many of the National Parks have virtual sites such as the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon.

Mount Vernon
San Francisco Museum
Memphis Museum
Franklin Institute Science Museum
Mongolia Exhibit
Natural History Museum
International Museum of Horses
Waikiki Aquarium
Mystic SeaPort
Papermaking Museum
San Diego Aerospace Museum
American Museum of Natural History
At Home in the Heartland - Illinois
Missouri Botanical Gardens
Crayon Factory
Placeless Museums
Placeless museums don't exist in a traditional building. They're created in a virtual world on the computer. However a placeless museum is more than simply a web page. It contains artifacts and exhibits that highlight a particular topic or theme.
Watch out, some of these are a mixture of museum and store. They provide an exhibit, then ask you to buy something.
You can find museums based on hot wheels, Barbie dolls, Beanie Babies, and ancient history. Just do a search for any topic and you'll probably find a site that calls itself a museum.


Red Cross

Comic Books


Virtual Field Trip:

Armchair Traveler
An armchair traveler may explore a country, follow a trail, or view a slide show.
Rather than viewing an event live, you're able to see what happened when people went on a trip. In most cases, you don't see everything that happened, just the highlights.

US History Tour

New Zealand

Virtual Palenque

Volcano Tour

Bosnia Field Trip


Virtual Field Trip:

Interactive Field Trip
An interactive field trip may involve visiting a volcano, taking a trip around the world, exploring the ocean floor, or climbing a mountain.
You get to see what's happening, as it happens. Or, you can go back later and experience that happened through the eyes of someone who experienced it.

Global Learn

Mungo Park

Egypt Mapping

EarthQuest 2000

Underground Railroad


Virtual Field Trip:

Simulated Exploration
A simulated exploration takes users on a trip through history, science, or any other area of study. These sites use photographs, diagrams, and other media to help you experience something that might not be possible in the "real" world because it's too dangerous, too expensive, or simply impossible.
You can't really visit the past or fit inside an atom, but on a simulated trip you can meet Thomas Jefferson, soar through a blood vessel, or zoom across the solar system.

Nine Planets

Virtual Cave

Sea & Sky

Adult-Produced Museums
Student-Produced Museums
Be a Museum Maker
Be a Bridge Builder

Developed by Annette Lamb, 3/99.