Multimedia Guides launch in 11 languages

Sponsored by Korean Air

A new set of handheld guides launches at the British Museum, designed to allow visitors to learn more about the British Museum’s collections. This includes:

  • A Multimedia Guide available in 11 different languages, including British Sign Language (BSL) 
  • An Audio Description Guide (in English only) 
  • A Children’s Multimedia Guide (in English only)

With an international audience of six million visitors each year, the British Museum is always seeking to find new ways to engage visitors from around the world with the collection. The new Multimedia Guide, made possible by sponsorship from Korean Air, will be available in eleven languages (English, Korean, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish, and a separate guide for British Sign Language) – the most comprehensive coverage of any museum multimedia guide. The guides will provide a state-of-the-art means for audiences to learn about the Museum’s unparalleled collection and make the most of their visit.

Taking in over 220 objects from the Museum’s collection, the Multimedia Guides will feature in-depth audio-visual commentaries. It will also include three guided tours to allow audiences different ways to explore the Museum’s collection: The Parthenon sculptures, Highlights of Ancient Egypt and The Korean Gallery. The tours will include directions to help the user find their way from one object to the next. The guide will also feature an interactive map to help visitors orient themselves and easily find objects and galleries.

The Children’s Guide (recommended for ages 5–11, in English only) will include seven guided micro-tours focusing on different parts of the world (ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome, early Britain, Africa, Americas and Oceania, Asia, and Middle East), accompanied by activity suggestions and small interactive games around some of the objects.

The Audio Description Guide has in-depth descriptive audio commentaries of each of the 220 objects for visually impaired people (English only), while the British Sign Language Guide will launch with signed videos of about 120 objects. Videos will be added so as to include the full 220 objects on the BSL Multimedia Guide by mid-January 2010.

This comprehensive offer establishes the British Museum as a leader in innovative interpretation and interactive learning. The Museum’s digital media team has worked with the Museum’s curators, education specialists and experiences audio scriptwriters to provide audiences with the best quality content.

The Multimedia Guides, with the exception of the Audio Description Guide, will use a portable touchscreen device, the XP Vision, made by Antenna Audio, which has been a leading provider of audio and audio-visual interpretation to museums, exhibitions, historic sites and visitor attractions around the world for the past 20 years. The Museum team has worked with Antenna Audio to develop a bespoke wayfinding system most suited to the layout of the galleries, which will be launched in spring 2010.

The guide will continue to grow in 2010 with secondary commentaries for objects, offering more in-depth information, as well as new guided tours in all foreign languages, including Highlights of the British Museum, Highlights of the Classical World and a tour of the Enlightenment Gallery.

Korean Air’s sponsorship of the project has been vital in allowing the Museum to greatly increase the number of objects offered through handheld guides and across the major languages used by visitors. The sponsorship has also allowed the Museum to take a great step forward in taking advantage of touchscreen multimedia technology.

Korean Air Chairman and CEO Mr Yang Ho Cho said: Korean Air’s passion for cultural sponsorship differentiates it from other airlines. Sponsorship through the British Museum Multimedia Guides enables visitors to the Museum to appreciate the masterpiece artworks in more detail with lively explanations. Our cultural sponsorship programme will, in the future, expand further bringing a greater global cultural understanding.

For further information or images, please contact Victoria Benjamin on + 44 (0)20 7323 8583, Esme Wilson on + 44 (0)20 7323 8394 or communications@britishmuseum.org  

Notes to Editors

About Korean Air
In 2008, Business Traveller magazine honoured Korean Air as having the ‘Best Transpacific Business Class’ and ranked it ‘The Best Airline in Asia’; World Traveller magazine rated it has having the world’s best inflight service; readers of Travel & Leisure magazine said it is one of the world’s top 10 international airlines and readers of Condé Nast Traveller magazine voted it has having one of the world’s top five business classes.

Korean Air, with a fleet of 130 aircraft, is one of the world's top 20 airlines, and operates almost 400 passenger flights per day to 117 cities in 39 countries. It is a founding member of SkyTeam, the global airlines alliance – partnering Aeroflot, AeroMexico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern Airlines, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM and two Associates to provide customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. More on Korean Air's programmes, routes, frequency and partners is available at www.koreanair.com