Bridging the gap between museum and city experience with open access mobile guide platforms: a case study from Moscow

Lada Mitroshenkova, Russia

1.         The Borodino Museum and the context around it

Museum-panorama «The Battle of Borodino» is one of popular and well-visited museum in Moscow. Museum tells about the Russian campaign of Napoleon in 1812. The highlight of the museum is the panorama Borodino painted by an outstanding Russian battle-artist Franz Roubaud in 1912.

Inside Museum-Panorama

Main Building of Museum-Panorama

The museum is located in close proximity to the triumphal Arch dedicated to the victory over Napoleon, and across the road from the huge WWII Museum.

Triumph Arch

WWII Memorial

We see our Museum-pamorama as an organic part of a bigger “Open-air Memorial” dedicated to WWII and Napoleon campaigns and to the resistance of Russians. Moscow city was a central and the most critical point in both invasions, so its history is deeply interlinked with our museum. Therefore the stories of the museum become the stories of the city. When mobile technologies emerged the museum put a lot of efforts in “going beyond the walls”.

2.         The scope of our Demonstration

We would like to present an overview of 3 years of learnings in our storytelling and the choices in technologies. We evolved from a hardware audio guide to the concept of open mobile platforms linking the visitors’ experience in the bigger context of the history of Moscow/Russia/Europe and in the context of other wars and dramatic events.

The presentation will cover:

  • our quest for storytelling technologies: we chose 3 to stay with
  • our quest for connecting our museum and the city of Moscow
  • the extension towards the WWII museum to enhance the visitors’ experience
  • the development of the project «History, I and Geography» within the Napoleon war museums throughout the Russia
  • the development of our digital strategy towards the content openness
  • the issues of mobile project development within limited budgets
  • the change of our funding strategy towards content development

We will illustrate our presentation with a pro/cons analysis and will showcase our experiences with the technologies, communication materials, etc.

3.         Why is our experience important for MWF?

  • We do not have vast resources to order any software/hardware we wish. We found the solution which allows us to deliver the quality mobile services to our visitors inside and outside
  • Our experience could be easily reproduced in any other museum without much costs
  • We proved with our case that middle- and even small-size museums could be the leaders in Mobile revolution via usage of open & free mobile platforms
  • Beyond-the-walls experience has huge potential to attract travelers
  • Our story is 100% related to the conference theme “Open Museums and Smartcities: Storytelling and Connected Culture.”

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