The UK has contributed more than 6,500 digitised museum objects to provide a boost for online learning.
The, objects from University College London and the University of Reading's diverse museum collections, are now openly accessible to students, teachers and the public at large, thanks to funding from Jisc.
The objects include rare Egyptian artefacts brought to life in 3D; digital images of zoological specimens in glass jars, anatomical prints, sixteenth-century portraits, and nineteenth-century scientific gadgets. The digital artefacts encompass science and the arts.
In addition to the digitised objects, which can be freely viewed, downloaded and used on a Creative Commons licence, the two museums have also produced a range of open educational resources such as videos and worksheets to support object-based learning.
The interdisciplinary nature of these resources makes them particularly versatile for online learning and suitable for the growing number of initiatives such as Massively Open Online Courses.