Relics at your fingertips!

Press Release: 27/11/2006

Accessing the online collections at the City Museum

www.winchestermuseumcollections.org.uk

At a private gala premiere evening held at the City Museum designed to show off the latest achievements of its museums service, Winchester City Council proudly launched its new museum collections website.

Invited guests could search the extensive collection of artefacts from Neolithic flint axes to William Savage photographs of the city on-line. This new website is in addition to the extensive museum information pages already included on Winchester City Council's site at www.winchester.gov.uk

Exploring the new website, users can discover some of the thousands of treasures in the care of Winchester Museums. For the launch, curators have chosen a selection of items they consider to be the crème de la crème of the collections, which reveal the richness of the district's heritage, either through their intrinsic beauty or because they have a special story to tell.

Dr Geoff Denford, Principal Curator of Winchester Museums, commented, "This is a significant new addition to the museums service. Winchester Museums have been using computer software for many years to keep internal catalogues of the archaeology, photographs, local history, coins and picture collections in our care. Thanks to advances in IT, we are now we are able to share these objects with the wider world."

Kathleen McCulloch, E-Access Officer for the service, stated, "The online collection will be of particular benefit for schools groups, who can use it to plan and follow-up on visits to our museums. But we also believe it will help a wide range of museum users around the world, from academic researchers to people investigating their family tree, and from local people interested in local history to those planning a visit to Winchester as part of a holiday."

So far, the curatorial team has loaded around 400 artefacts onto the site, but the number and range of items will continue to grow. There are also linked 'topic' pages on the Winchester Mint, Roman Cemetery Treasures, William Savage and the Westgate which cross-refer to the objects. Kathleen added, "This is a fantastic new resource and I would urge people to save us as a 'favourite' and return often to watch the site develop. We would love people to be a part of the process and tell us what they would like to see next."

Cllr Patricia Stallard, Winchester City Council's Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport said, "I would certainly commend this wonderful new service. It is fascinating to be able to access objects held in the collection from the comfort of your own home or office. We have already received many compliments on this easy-to-use site and I look forward to seeing it grow."

You can access the online collections direct at www.winchestermuseumcollections.org.uk or by following the 'leisure and culture' link from the home page of www.winchester.gov.uk