What to do on a rainy day

My Favorite Web Sites - Winchester Star - 8/2/01
 by Martin Zombeck

This is a bi-weekly column providing an annotated list of Web sites that may be of interest to the community. Each column will list sites that belong to a particular category: search engines, art, online newspapers and magazines, health and medicine, history, business and economics, etc. or sites relevant to a particular season, for example, skiing or gardening. Most sites will be non-commercial. To make it easier to access the sites, each bi-weekly column will be posted on the Town of Winchester's Web site so that the sites can be accessed and bookmarked without having to be typed. Previous columns will be archived at the Winchester site, also.

You're on vacation and it's pouring rain. What to do? Visit a museum, of course. This column presents links to many of the local, national, and European museums (non-art; see a previous column, for art museums). You'll be able to take a virtual tour of a museum, browse or purchase from the online store, find the opening hours, obtain driving directions, and, in general, plan your visit. Two sites provide links to a majority of the world's museums.

Museum of Science, Boston -www.mos.org- Current and online exhibits, calendar of events, shows, and coming exhibitions; purchase tickets and shop online at the Museum store.

Museum of Our National Heritage, Lexington, MA -www.mnh.org- An American history museum - from thematic shows such as The Shakers of Canterbury, New Hampshire and Women of the Wild West to collections of toys, costumes, furniture, photographs, and paintings.

The Discovery Museums, Acton, MA -www.ultranet.com/~discover- "Two separate (The Children's Discovery Museum and The Science Discovery Museum) but complementary museums filled with exciting, interactive exhibits for children of all ages using focused spaces and hands-on activities inviting exploration and discovery".

Harvard University museums -www.peabody.harvard.edu/harvard_head.html- Links to Harvard's museums.

American Textile History Museum, Lowell, MA -www.athm.org/sites/boston/bostonftp/athm/welcome.html- "The Museum's large collection includes thousands of books, manuscripts and images, millions of textile samples and hundreds of textile-making machines, the Museum is an unparalleled resource for the study of American textile history".

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA -www.pem.org/index.html- "One of New England's largest museums, the Peabody Essex has internationally renowned maritime collections; four centuries of American Decorative Arts; and art from China, Japan, Korea, India, and the Pacific Islands. It also displays one of the world's largest and most important collections of Asian decorative arts produced for the Western Market". Everything you will need to plan a trip can be found at this site.

Smithsonian Institution -www.si.edu/info/museums_research.htm- Links to all 16 museums and 8 research centers of the Smithsonian Institution.

New York Hall of Science -www.nyhallsci.org- Online interactive exhibits and information to plan a visit.

American Museum of Natural History, New York -www.amnh.org/home/index.html- From anthropology to zebras, tour past and present exhibition highlights. Current exhibitions information, public programs, online guide to shopping and dining at the Museum, hours of operation, directions and parking, Museum tours, floor plan - all are available online to help you plan your visit.

European Museums

The British Museum, London -www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk- One of the great museums of the world. This site will help you find out about the collections of the British Museum and help you plan a visit to the Museum.

Deutsches Museum (The German Museum), Munich -www.deutsches-museum.de- In English and German. This is the mother of all science and technology museums, founded in 1903 and completely rebuilt after the Second World War; the Web site shows it off very well. Over 100 exhibits from Aerospace to Weights and Measures are on display in the Museum and presented in this very comprehensive Web site. Dioramas, interactive demonstrations, panorama views, video-clips, and audio-clips are all offered at this site. An extensive overview of the museum's archival holdings can be found here. The archives of the Deutsches Museum are the leading collections for the history of science and technology in Europe. They hold currently 4.3 kilometers of archival material, sources and documents. The archival collections focus on transportation, aeronautics and astronautics, the history of physics and chemistry.

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris -www.mnhn.fr- In French only, but that shouldn't prevent you from browsing the site.

The Royal Museum of the Army and Military History, Brussels -www.klm-mra.be- The Royal Museum of the Army and Military History is located in one of the buildings of the Cinquantenaire Park and contains about one hundred thousand items. This collection makes the Museum rank among the top military museums in the world - on display are hand weapons, experimental models, gunsmith's equipment, automatic machine guns, World War equipment, photos, documents, and armoured tanks. In one of the larger halls, a collection of 130 airplanes can be seen. Special attention is given to the airplanes of the period around the second World War as used by the Luftwaffe and the Allied Forces: Hurricanes, Spitfires, Mosquitos, etc. Also on display: Jet planes, Gloster Meteor, F 104 G, a Swedish Draken, Dakota, C-119, Pembroke, etc.

Museum Metasites

Museum Computer Network (Museum Sites Online) -www.mcn.edu- Links to over 1,000 international museum and museum WWW sites but with an unfortunate listing only by alphabetical order.

VLMP (Virtual Library museum pages)-vlmp.museophile.com- A distributed directory of on-line museums listed by country.

The next column will feature transportation sites - trains, planes, and buses. Previous columns with live links can be found at www.winchestermass.org/wstar.

When he is not updating the Town of Winchester Web site (www.winchestermass.org), Martin Zombeck can be found at either the Packer tennis courts or at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is a physicist.