Museums not only preserve the heritage and culture of a country, but also are powerhouses of information pertaining to relics and artifacts of bygone times. Though India has taken steps to boost and conserve many of its museums, there is no platform where a consolidated information on different museums can be viewed.
To work towards this initiative, Sahapedia, an online encyclopedic body, will launch a free portal—museumsofindia.org—that will trace and create an all-inclusive database of all the museums of India. The portal will be launched on May 18 which also happens to be International Museum Day.
The portal will offer a dynamic digital platform for audiences to view consolidated information on museums and their star attractions as well as provide them with an opportunity to interact with museum professionals. Highlighting the concept behind the launch, Vaibhav Chauhan,secretary, Sahapedia, said, “There is no one resource available for museums in India. However, there are more than 1,000 museums in India. We thought if there could be one central resource where all information on these museums could be available for visitors who are keen to plan their visit, it would be great.
“Also, the role of museums as informational and educational centres is going down and due to which young generation is not very well connected. Today's generation accesses information either through mobile apps or website. So we thought to have a central resource information on the museums.”
The initiative has been planned in a phased manner. The first phase is dedicated to collation of information on museums. In the second phase, a platform will be provided for networking and the last phase will be dedicated to make the system transactional, so that people can reach out to the enlisted museums to book their tickets and other things. “We will be launching information on around 140 museums in 10 cities in the first phase and we will keep on adding new museums to the list. In the second phase, we want to create dependency on the portal for museums and museum professionals where we can give features and tools to museum to host events, share information on workshops, special events, etc. Whereas in the third one, we aim to give people a facility where they can book tickets, guide or purchase souvenirs from the museum shop. So we are trying to build an ecosystem for museums and museum-goers,” said Chauhan.
The idea for the initiative came from the app 'Museums of Delhi', which was built by Chauhan in 2014. The app listed Delhi museums and also related information like ticket prices, opening hours, parking locations, amenities, friendliness towards differently-abled people and also directed the user to other museums in the vicinity. The portal will also provide similar details.
Sahapedia plans to expand the information and cover 750 museums by the end of the year.