Google Helping Museums Share Their Collections Using Mobile Apps
The Google Cultural Institute is involved in many efforts to bring history alive for online viewers around the world. In September, the Google Cultural Institute and the Alvar Aalto Foundation in Finland announced a partnership that is now highlighting many examples of the works of the late Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Aalto, who died in May 1976 at age 78, left behind many spectacular designs in architecture, furniture, glassware and even textiles, inspiring new generations of designers and showcasing clever and innovative products. In July, the renovation and rebirth of England's Bletchley Park, which during World War II served as the home of a historic code-breaking center that helped bring about the eventual Allied victory in 1945, was featured in an online exhibit. After the war, the facility was left to decay and rot. Now, through the help and contributions of Google and others, Bletchley Park is undergoing a renaissance and has become a museum that is showing off the code-breaking technologies that were done there and that helped win the war. Exhibits in the museum at Bletchley Park are available online through the Google Cultural Institute. The digital exhibit features material from Bletchley Park's Archives, providing a vivid snapshot of the work that went on cracking secret messages and the role it played in shortening the war, according to Google.The Google Cultural Institute, established in 2010 to help preserve and promote culture online, makes important cultural material available and accessible to everyone, and digitally preserves it to educate and inspire future generations. It has been actively adding to its growing collections. In April 2014, the Institute began offering virtual tours of the opulent Palais Garnier opera house in Paris using Google Street View images to showcase the beautiful and grand opera house, which has been hosting performances since it opened in 1875. In December 2013, Google gave small art galleries around the world their first big chance to show off the lovely artwork within their walls by using Google Open Gallery, an online service that lets gallery owners display their collections to online visitors. The Google Open Gallery is also available to individuals who have fascinating art collections and would like to showcase them.
In June, Google's Cultural Institute commemorated the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the Normandy coast in France with a series of special online exhibits to illustrate the emotions, power and destruction of an epic and successful World War II battle that likely changed the course of the war. The online exhibits include an in-depth look into the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, featuring some 470 new documents and images.