A revolutionary concept for the museum’s collections was developed in the run-up to the general renovation of Karlsruhe Palace. The admission ticket has been replaced by a user card, which encourages visitors to return to the collection exhibits. These will begin with a presentation of selected highlights. This will be followed by the “Expothek”: This new and unique format resembles a research laboratory and is intended to give visitors the opportunity to become active users of the museum. Originals can be displayed on presentation tables, and workplaces will offer interested parties the opportunity to research the objects directly. Digital features and modern technologies such as 3D scanning and virtual reality also offer innovative ways to experience culture and history. The concept is being tested for the first time in the new permanent exhibition Archaeology in Baden.
As a rule, museums can only exhibit a fraction of their collections. For example, the 13,000 exhibits in our display collection are matched by 500,000 objects in the depots. We would like to make our records publicly accessible and expand the museum visit into the digital world with on-line offerings such as games and puzzles. The constantly growing object database currently contains over 181,400 object records and 276,900 image records. Further data, in particular high-resolution 3D digital copies, will be added in the course of the year. The collection exhibit Archaeology in Baden – Expothekˡ features an intuitive 3D digitising station with robot arm and turntable especially for this purpose. This was prepared by the Department of Digitisation of Cultural Heritage of the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD. The resulting digital copies will be available on site and will also be fed directly into the museum’s object database. The data can thus be used by other portals (Open Access) such as the public digital catalogue on the new website, the German Digital Library, Europeana, or user platforms such as Sketchfab.
The conventional admission ticket will be replaced by a user card. This also allows users to explore the individual collection objects – as well as their history and interrelationships – on-line.
In the future, changing special exhibits will remain one of our main attractions. The enlargement of the exhibition area from 900 to 1,500 m2 and the expansion to two levels will greatly enhance the tour. Because of their limited duration, they are ideal forums for presenting current research. These combine European art and cultural history with a global perspective, referencing present-day questions along the way. A modern design makes the temporary exhibits attractive to visitors from all social groups.
As the centre of Karlsruhe, the palace should be openly accessible. In addition to the permanent opening of the passage between the city and the park through the foyer, spaces and possibilities that will make the palace a meeting place for young and old are to be created. The foyer will be redesigned and extended into the eastern wing.