Museums around the world joined in the #MusGIF fun this week by sharing short, quirky and usually amusing GIFs via Twitter.
Many charities and fundraisers recognise the value and popularity of digital video, but struggle to create video content. Yet GIFs can offer a quick and free option to create animated content that will attract, inform and entertain.
You can get a sense of the range of opportunities from these museums’ contributions from Museums GIF day, one of many creative collaborative campaigns from @MarDixon at @CultureThemes.
1. Royal Ontario Museum
— Royal Ontario Museum (@ROMtoronto) April 12, 2017
2. US National Archives
— US National Archives (@USNatArchives) April 12, 2017
The US National Archives has created so many that it has created its own GIPHY channel. GIPHY is a set of free tools to create, publish and share GIFs. Its GIPHY channel currently has 217 GIFs.
The Skagens Kunstmuseer is another museum with its own GIPHY channel.
3. Shangri La, Museum for Islamic Arts and Cultures
— Shangri La Museum (@hi_shangrila) April 13, 2017
4. Waterloo Region Museum
— WaterlooRegionMuseum (@WRegionMuseum) April 12, 2017
5. Glasgow Women’s Library
— Glasgow Women's Library (@womenslibrary) April 12, 2017
6. National Portrait Gallery
— Portrait Gallery (@NPGLondon) April 12, 2017
7. Birmingham Museums
— BM_AG (@BM_AG) April 12, 2017
8. National Museums Scotland
— National Museums Scotland (@NtlMuseumsScot) April 12, 2017
9. Derby Museums
— Derby Museums (@derbymuseums) April 12, 2017
You will note that Derby Museum’s used the free MakeAGIF.com service to create their animation.
10. The Postal Museum
— The Postal Museum (@thepostalmuseum) April 12, 2017
If that wasn’t quite enough for you, try exploring more #MusGIFs.
Illuminating GIFs at the Bodleian Library
One organisation that has really gone to town with GIFs has been the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford.
Adam Koszary spent a year there working on its social media accounts and devoted some of his time to animating some of the museum’s medieval images. He wondered if animated illuminated manuscripts might not look appropriate from such a seat of scholarship, but found that the GIFs proved very popular.
He started off by creating a GIF around a particular date or occasion, such as St Patrick’s Day. Then he moved on to hashtag-driven dates such as #InternationalCoffeeDay, and then simply offering a comment on the weather, such as an image depicting sinners in Hell to illustrate some hot summer days at Oxford.
— Bodleian Libraries (@bodleianlibs) January 9, 2017
— Bodleian Libraries (@bodleianlibs) December 18, 2016
— Bodleian Libraries (@bodleianlibs) November 15, 2016
We are a @UKBlogAwards Finalist!
— Bodleian Libraries (@bodleianlibs) January 2, 2017
Did you know a couple of the Muses once fell off the Clarendon Building?
We tie them down properly now. pic.twitter.com/aoDbX2mUTq
— Bodleian Libraries (@bodleianlibs) November 4, 2016
— Bodleian Libraries (@bodleianlibs) October 31, 2016
Koszary, who suggests using Photoshop and the open source GIMP, to create GIFs concluded:
“Animating our historic collections is a good thing. They can enlighten and they can entertain, and that is what museums and libraries should be doing.”
His approach has clearly inspired others:
— History of Medicine Library Oxford (@HistMedLibOx) March 28, 2017
Main image: Zoetrope by The Film Museum on Flickr.com
- What’s your favourite GIF creation tool? Share in the comments below.