OK, here we go with seven of our favourite museum YouTube channels – from The Tank Museum’s internet superstar to UCL’s body parts
The Tank Museum Tank Chats
The Tank Museum have been killing it on YouTube for ages. And why wouldn’t they? They have a massive collection of highly compelling mechanical killing machines, spilling with stories and loads of knowledgeable curators and volunteers – not to mention celebrity guests – eager to unlock and explain them. But only one of them has his own t-shirt. David Fletcher also has a great and now famous moustache and an utterly brilliant knack for talking about tanks. Here he is talking about the worst British tanks.
Science Museum Stories from the Stores
It’s not all about men with facial hair, although purely coincidentally, Alex Lathbridge is a man with a fine beard. He also has a neat way of teasing out museum collection stories for The Science Museum’s Stories from the Stores, a series where he goes behind the scenes to bring us some pretty unusual stuff. Here he is with curator Donata Miller exploring the mysteries of a Chinese clock, which uses incense and fire to tell the time.
What do you do when can’t afford a whizzy 360 virtual tour of your museum? You do what Amberley Working Museum did and strap on a head cam, a pair of roller skates and take a spin round the site while its closed. This whistle stop tour doesn’t enter any of the many fascinating museums within this brilliant open air museum, but it does give you an idea of its sheer size and scope. In our view the only thing that would improve this vid would be a roller disco soundtrack. (Psst… Amberley have some other great vids too – including a tour of the Museum as seen from a 1914 Tilling Stevens Bus!).
Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon
There are many reasons why the YouTube Channel of Barnstable and North Devon Museum is worth a look – local stories like Russell’s Motorbikes, a woman called Brenda, Basil Pidgeon of Wickham’s Wines – to name but a few. But this charming story of Greta Greenslade, in the house where she was born eighty-odd years ago, is most definitely our favourite.
British Museum Curator’s Corner
“Hello, my name is Irvin Finkel. I’m a curator. I work in the British Museum.” Irvin has a great way with words, a fantastic beard and a Gandalfian majesty that lends itself brilliantly to the subjects he talks about. He’s also very good at articulating the sheer wonder of the Lewis chessmen as part of the British Museum’s Curator’s Corner series. He also claims to hate Harry Potter.
What do you do with a collection of body parts? The UCL Collections You Tube Channel has the answer in this fascinating tour of unloved and unwanted specimens that are now surplus to requirements in the digital age. Apart from pondering the transient nature of life, this video also invites you to consider how medical museums are no longer vibrant spaces of education and exploration and are now at risk of becoming relics containing relics. Hmmmm… That sounds like our kind of place.
Charles Dickens Museum
If you are of a literary Victorian bent, you will find much to cheer you in the Charles Dickens Museum YouTube Channel – not least the highly popular Dickensian Christmas pudding recipe. But we prefer geeky stuff like this great exploration of the extraordinary book bindings of Sangorski and Sutfcliffe. The bookseller explaining these Victorian wonders is Benjamin Maggs, which we think is a highly Dickensian name.
Have you got a favourite museum YouTube channel or video? Let us know if so in the comments below.