Museums are as rich and varied as the collections they care for. From analyzing artefacts and their materials, protecting cultural heritage and engaging the public in the fascinating science of conservation, microscopes will help you showcase your museum as the special place it is.
You may be an archaeologist or historian, restorer or scientist, or all those things rolled into one. Microscopes help you understand objects and the materials they are made from. Is it the real thing or a clever forgery? Studying an object close-up will help you answer that question. Care and conservation are continuous processes.
Precious artefacts and works of art derive great value from their base materials, but excessive handling over time can cause damage. Microscopy is the unique solution for sensitive, non-invasive and virtually contact-
free investigations and provides the necessary data for digital documentation tasks. You need superb optics to observe objects properly, whether live or inert. When investigating large or even immobile objects you need imaging solutions that are portable and easy to use.
You also want to attract new audiences and hold their attention. Interactivity is the key. Microscopes are a great way to deliver exciting, hands-on experiences for your visitors, allowing people to immerse themselves in captivating worlds of diminutive lifeforms and miniature vistas. Your visitors explore the exquisite architecture of a flower or a flea, a flake of surface paint or a speck of gilding. Microscopes integrate well with curated exhibitions and permanent displays while providing enthralling new layers to the audience experience – something your visitors will come back for again and again.
Museums bring people into close proximity with precious cultural treasures and works of art. All are unique and valuable. Each is vulnerable to damage. Many can only be shown in public thanks to the diligent behind-the-scenes work of conservators. Conservators ensure the safety of objects and are immensely important to the overall success of the museum. Art conservation and restoration is a discipline requiring a wide range of technical skills, supported by an extensive knowledge of materials and methods.
And all of it grounded in care and sensitivity around the ethics of conservation. But it’s not always just about conserving the status quo. Sometimes objects are so badly damaged that careful restoration is necessary. This requires research, analysis and complex decision-making on the most appropriate methods and materials for restoring the character of the original artefact.
It’s not just the collections that make your museum special. Behind each object are the in-depth knowledge of your curators and the technical and scientific expertise of your conservators. The processes of acquiring, conserving, interpreting and displaying your collections are backed up with top-notch research while scientific analysis provides the most comprehensive understanding of every object you hold. Every staff member has a special role to play, carrying out lab work, compiling research papers and applying for grants.
Their work is crucial to the public reputation of your museum – preserving and repairing damaged objects, providing consultation services for other museums and collectors, and finding answers to some of the great technological and historical questions of our times. ZEISS offers instruments and integrated support for your in-house core facility - from light to electron to X-ray microscopy.
Museums are treasure troves of information. The challenge is ensuring access to that information for the public – including people unable to visit your museum in person. Digitization is a powerful instrument. Digitizing collections with high-resolution reproductions of individual objects enables museums to share virtual copies in a wide variety of formats with the world, and virtual networking enables researchers from around the world to access your collections and share findings.
Digitization projects require input from everybody on your team. Conservators need to inspect the status of individual objects and establish the best conditions for the process. The size, shape and material composition of objects dictate which methods for digitization will be most appropriate. The process of digitizing paintings, drawings, prints and other two-dimensional objects is often relatively straightforward. Many museums have even embarked on the more complicated process of digitizing various objects, specimens and sculptures in all three dimensions, with 3D renderings that capture every surface detail and allow a closer inspection with virtual reality technology.
ZEISS instruments and software also take care of the digitization of meta information. By tying data from archives and libraries together with the museum object you provide packages of research and educational resources that are invaluable to the users of your services to get deeper insight into the samples.
Your museum is brimming with learning and engagement potential. The collections you display provide tangible links between people, their culture, their history and the natural world around them. Your exhibitions are exciting and inspirational and offer learning opportunities that are practically boundless. To fully realize this potential and engage the audiences that you are committed to reach, you need to invest in new strategies and techniques.
With ZEISS microscopes and software, you extract the maximum benefit from smartphones, tablets, multimedia platforms and other digital hardware. Your education and outreach programs, microscopy days, school programs and other public events provide the time and space to engage with audiences. Digital learning and virtual reality technology offer all the scope you need to take those experiences to the next level.