Museum of London putting 5,000 stories in its collections online

The Museum of London is making 5,000 first-hand audio stories in its collections available to the public for the first time.

Developed with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Digital Accelerator for Arts and Culture, the oral history collection is focussed on the people and history of London.

It includes an interview with Edith Poulson, who was born in Vienna 1918 to a Jewish family. She came to the UK in 1938 to avoid Nazi persecution. Another story comes from Fylaktis Philippou, who worked as a barber in St James from 1949.

museum of london west smithfield

Additionally, the Museum of London is reimagining its website to allow users to explore its collections online in a new way from 2024.

For casual and curious online visitors, the Museum of London will bring to life the stories behind the objects in its collections.

These include 350-year-old burnt bricks from the cellar floor of a shop close to Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane where the Great Fire of London started, as well as a 17th century hand bell that was used to warn people of approaching plague corpses.

“As a social history museum we are in a unique position to present our collections’ human stories first, offering new ways in – especially for underrepresented audiences who often tell us they find museum collections stuffy and inaccessible,” said Trish Thomas, the museum’s head of digital innovation.

Museum of London’s digital offer

“As we move towards the opening of our world-class new museum, we want to revolutionise our digital offer, adding new layers of interpretation, connecting online and offline journeys seamlessly and allowing users to personalise their experiences wherever possible.

“I am delighted that this project will enable us to bring London’s stories to life for millions more people in the capital and around the world.”

The Museum of London recently closed its main site at London Wall ahead of its relocation to West Smithfield, where it will reopen as the London Museum in 2026.

Images: Museum of London

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Museum of London putting 5,000 stories in its collections online