The British Museum:

Two Million Years of History and Humanity

Available exclusively on Oculus Rift.

Themes for the classroom: world history; art history; anthropology; Egyptology; Classical and Near Eastern civilizations; anthropology; archaeology; cultural studies; comparative religion; economics; literacy and language arts; storytelling; art making; technology.

This Boulevard experience features forty-eight diverse objects from the British Museum’s permanent collection, displayed in its illustrious mid-19th century round Reading Room. Spanning approximately 2,000,000 years and representing a wide range of civilizations and cultures, these remarkable artefacts offer a fascinating record of human endeavor, and allow for the opportunity to consider the many threads of human history. In all, six curatorial departments from the British Museum contributed to this project.

Users can move around the Reading Room, which has not been open to the museum-going public since 1997, and study each object. Any artefact can be brought closer and some can even be held and turned around in your hand. A virtual tablet offers extended written labels and information about the British Museum. Audio narration is provided by Patricia Wheatley, Head of Creative: Broadcast at the Museum.

A semi-circular timeline allows users to choose a historical period to explore within the Reading Room. Users can select holograms of the forty-eight objects from a holographic map that spreads out below the timeline. While monumental works, such as the Sphinx of Taharqo and the fragment of the East Pediment of the Parthenon stay in place within the Library, smaller objects, like a 12th century Lewis Chessmen piece or a two-million-year-old stone chopping tool, can be lifted, rotated, and held. Objects can also be grouped together within sections of the Reading Room, according to their curatorial taxonomy, offering layers of innovative learning and experience.