Saturday, November 12, 2011

Curriculum Resource: The Museum of Online Museums (MoOM)

:When you have a big task looming ahead of you (like writing 50,000 words in 30 days), which you have been spending too many of your waking hours on already, distraction is only a click away with the Internet.  In one of my flights of fancy today, I discovered the Museum of Online Museums (MoOM), which actually is a fabulous resource.

The Museum of Online Museums is just what it sounds like--a collection of links to museums around the world with exhibits and other information available online.  But what a collection!

It is divided into different sections.  The first section, The Museum Campus, has all your usual suspects--the Smithsonian, MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Virtual Museum of Canada, etc--with links conveniently located on the same page.  Then there is The Permanent Collection, which has mostly art and university collections that you might not be aware of, but that could prove useful--sites like Duke's Rare Book and Manuscript Collection, or the Flanders Fields Museum, or Art Treasures from Kyoto.

Finally, you come to Galleries, Exhibits, and Shows.  This part contains listings to the most bizarre and diverse collections I've ever seen.  Here are a sampling of the current exhibits:

  • Museum of Snake Charmer Imagery
  • The Aerosol Spray Paint Can Museum Covers
  • International Gallery of Restroom Hand Dryers
  • Take Out Beverage Lid Collection
And it goes on and on like that.  MoOM picks out a few of these to feature each quarter, but there is something there to fit almost anyone's fancy.

However, this is a great resource to know about to answer questions our students have about obscure things.  For example, I have accessed The DOS Museum (one of their listings) before when trying to remember and explain the history of computer development to my son.  That's not one of the most obscure, but you get the idea.  It's a good place to bookmark for when they ask you something about the history of some aspect of our culture that you have no idea where to start looking for the answer.

Finally, it can come in handy when you are writing something like NaNoWriMo.  For example, say I am writing a scene about my protagonists going to the movie in either a different country or a different time period.  What candy should I have them buy to consume during the movie?  Well, by visiting Mike's Candy Bar Wrapper Collection, I can not only find the correct name of the candy they would eat in Canada, but describe the wrapper as well.

So whether you are looking for more academic purposes, or want to lose yourself in the wormhole of the World Wide Web, (MoOM) can help you out.

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