Royal College of Music digitises historically significant instruments

Thursday 12 November 2015


The Royal College of Music will create the largest virtual collection of historically significant musical instruments in the UK in a major partnership with the Royal Academy of Music, the Horniman Museum and the University of Edinburgh.

The collection will be available worldwide thanks to the Google Cultural Institute. Online visitors will be able to explore 40,000 instruments held in more than 100 collections across the United Kingdom. The user-friendly resource will include detailed descriptions, high quality imagery and sound recordings of many of the instruments.

Expected to be complete by 2017, MINIM-UK (Musical INstrument Interface for Museums and collections) has received an award from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund and represents just one initiative in the RCM’s extensive digitisation programme.

A second collaboration with the Google Cultural Institute will showcase even more of the RCM collections. Set to be launched in December 2015, the virtual exhibition will provide online access to tens of thousands of paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs. The RCM is the first international music conservatoire to partner with Google in this way.

Gabriele Rossi Rognoni, curator of the RCM Museum says “it is tremendously exciting to work with Google. We are also delighted that we have so many ways to allow people to explore all of our treasures before we re-open at the heart of a transformed Royal College of Music in 2018.”

The RCM Museum is holding a physical exhibition prior to its temporary closure in December. Key Change! celebrates the history and development of the Museum and invites the public to take an active role in shaping its future.

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