Step Back in Time with Virtual History Lessons, 3D Tours of Historic Buildings, a Digital Dinosaur Safari, and More
Travel back in time this weekend with virtual offerings that allow you to explore ancient lands where dinosaurs roamed, World War II Britain, colonial America, and more – without having to leave your home. History buffs and novices alike will not want to miss these historical resources from cultural institutions supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Reclaim the Past with the New York Historical Society
When life gave the New York Historical Society (NYHS) lemons, this organization created a recipe of the week collection to help inspire at-home bakers. The collection includes an array of handwritten recipes that date back to 1840, including one for a delicious lemon cake.
The NYHS History at Home webpage includes a variety of online learning resources that allow you to explore New York’s first museum from home. Go back in time to Prohibition with videos and audio recordings or listen to conversations about women who have shaped our country, like Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor. You can also download unique backgrounds for your next video call, print out coloring pages for your kids, or join the museum’s virtual family book club.
If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you won’t want to miss Living History @ Home, a weekly living history program that explores the clothing of colonial America – you can even learn how to make your own petticoat and breeches or bedgown.
Walk Where Dinosaurs Once Roamed with London’s Natural History Museum
It may have been 145 million years since the last Jurassic dinosaurs roamed the planet, but dinosaur enthusiasts can get a sense of the land they once inhabited with Mission Jurassic from the Natural History Museum in London. With this resource, you can follow a group of scientists on a virtual journey of Wyoming’s Jurassic Mile, explore an ancient ocean in 360°, and learn about the amazing international effort behind their work.
For those feeling crafty, the museum’s Try This at Home page includes resources that teach you how to fold your own origami Tyannosaurus rex, make a hatching dinosaur egg, build your own erupting volcano, and more.
Finally, you can learn all about the history of dinosaurs with the Dino Directory, take a quiz to find out which dinosaur you are, make your own nature journal to record your exploration observations, or create a homemade trap to capture insects and other minibeasts.
Visit an 18th Century Farmhouse with Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance
Explore the last farmhouse in Manhattan through online activities from Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance (DFMA). Dyckman at Home resources include historical activities for the entire family, from a virtual tour of the 18th century Dutch Colonial style farmhouse to interactive experiments and crafts. Create eco-friendly cardboard roll art that encourages people to reuse, reduce and recycle, or download the Luna Activity Book which includes a word search and maze. Learn how seeds grow with the Germination Experiment.
If you’re looking for some food for thought, learn about the history of cacao and then try tasty, healthy recipes for plant-based seedling cupcakes or aquafaba chocolate mousse. Continue to perfect your culinary skills by watching a virtual cooking class with the Nourishing Japan Kitchen hosted on the DFMA Facebook page.
Glimpse Wartime Culture with the Imperial War Museums
Keep up with the United Kingdom’s Imperial War Museums (IWM) by exploring its online collection of art, books, photographs, and film, or listening to its podcast, Voices of the First World War. While you may not be able to physically walk through the Churchill War Rooms from World War II, you can read about the history of the cabinet war rooms, learn nine secrets from the rooms, or find out how sugar cubes revealed the rooms’ well preserved past. Next, explore a1940s house to discover what you may have found in a typical British wartime kitchen, learn why toys were so special to their owners, and more.
Tune into IWM’s Adventures in History YouTube series every Wednesday to watch museum experts sharing their favorite stories that you likely wouldn’t hear in a classroom– from real-life stories about courageous animal heroes to how people managed to satisfy their sweet tooth despite World War II rationing.
Explore American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston
What can teapots, sugar boxes, and chamber pots tell us about history? This is the subject of just one of the many virtual lectures available from Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) curators. Other thought-provoking lecture topics include the behind-the-scenes story of the creation of Thomas Sully’s “The Passage of the Delaware,” and an exploration of the legacy of Jackson Pollock’s 1940s mural.
MFA’s world-renowned collection of American art includes paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts created throughout North, Central, and South America over the past 3,000 years, and it is now available to everyone from home. Explore the museum’s digital collection on your own, or check out the extensive MFA video library for videos exploring everything from Gender Bending Fashion to Japanese Buddhist Sculptures. Additionally, teachers can select from more than 300 pre-made history lessons or build their own virtual history lesson plans through MFA for Educators.
Join us again next week as we continue to highlight online resources from arts and cultural institutions around the world. Remember to follow Bloomberg Philanthropies on Twitter and Facebook for a daily cultural spotlight, and catch up on the previous posts in our virtual arts experience series: