V&A launches digital platform to transform access to its collections

A new digital platform has been launched that aims to transform how users access the 1.2 million objects in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s (V&A) collections.

Described as one of the institution’s “most significant digital undertakings to date”, Explore the Collections is a story-led experience that will allow users to ‘delve deeper’ into digital content, bringing data, stories, images and editorial content about the museum’s collections together in one place.

It aims to take a “fluid and story-led approach”, enabling users from anywhere in the world to search for specific objects and allow the site to recommend content based on their interests.

The platform is a key element in the V&A’s programme to revolutionise access to its collections, which will culminate in the new collections and research centre being built as part of the museum’s new east London site, V&A East.

Currently in beta, Explore the Collections will be continually developed and will later expand to include archives and library collections.

“This new platform comes at a vital time when the way audiences engage with museums and their collections has changed dramatically – particularly during the last year of the global pandemic,” said V&A deputy director and COO, Tim Reeves.

“Explore the Collections is one of the museum’s most significant digital undertakings to date, and supports the V&A’s goal of revolutionising access to the V&A’s collections, and diversifying and expanding audiences, as we expand towards east London and V&A East.

“While the museum’s doors remain closed, the platform provides a vital resource for research and discovery of the V&A’s public collections to a worldwide audience.”

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