Google Cultural Institute Launches
5 March 2015 at 9:55 am
The collections of 14 Australian cultural institutions have became available online to audiences across Australia and the world with the launch of the Google Cultural Institute Australia.
Google’s philanthropic gesture sees Australia join more than 600 organisations in more than 60 countries showcasing 60,000 of the world’s most important artworks that have been made accessible online in high resolution.
Many of Australia’s collecting institutions will now be accessible online including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Australian National Maritime Museum, National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial.
A collection of artistic and cultural works from state-based institutions has also been captured, including the Queensland Museum, Sydney Opera House and the State Library of New South Wales.
“Google Australia is providing a generous gift to the Australian public through this collaboration with our museums, libraries and galleries – demonstrating what can be achieved when arts, business and philanthropy come together,” Federal Minister for the Arts, Senator George Brandis said at the launch of the Institute.
“Google Cultural Institute will take Australia’s world class art collections to the world stage and to the homes, schools and offices of Australians in every town, city and region.”
“Our art galleries, museums and libraries are ever-evolving collections of art works and artefacts from key moments in Australian and Pacific history, as well as important works from around the world. But time and distance makes it tough to visit them all, meaning many significant Australian works will be seen only by the people lucky enough to visit,” Managing Director, Google Australia, Maile Carnegie said.
“Now, 2,000 more artworks and artefacts are available online to be viewed by people across Australia and the world. A student in a regional or remote town learning about World War II can see exactly how much space a pilot had inside a bomber as they were on a raid, or imagine what it was like to be a refugee in a tiny boat on a wild ocean.
“In addition to working with art galleries and museums to capture imagery of their most precious collections, we used special ‘gigapixel’ cameras to take super high-resolution imagery of artworks like Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri's Warlugulong, giving people an even closer look than if they were standing right in front of it.
“We also used our Street View technology to capture 360-degree panoramic imagery to allow online virtual tours of the Australian War Memorial, the National Museum of Australia, Sculpture by the Sea and many others.”
Google Australia did not want to put a dollar value on the philanthropic initiative however a spokesperson said: "At Google we’re all about organising information and making it accessible and useful. Here in Australia, we’ve tried to apply that mission to Australia’s art and culture by using technology to digitise it and make it available to more people.
“By putting these incredible artworks and artefacts online, we know that school students in rural and remote regions will be able to see them for the first time, not to mention the people overseas who’ll also get to enjoy these amazing artworks."
New Australian partners joining Google Cultural Institute:
Australian War Memorial (including Street View tour) (link)
National Museum of Australia (including Street View tour) (link)
National Portrait Gallery (link)
Australian National Maritime Museum (link)
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (link)
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (link)
State Library of NSW (link)
Australian Museum (link)
Biennale of Sydney (StreetView tour of 19th Biennale, Cockatoo Island 2014 venue) (link)
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi (Street View tour) (link)
Queensland Museum (including Street View tour) (link)
Queensland Performing Arts Centre (link)
Public Record Office Victoria (link)
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (link)