WebExhibits is a virtual museum of science, humanities, and culture that uses information, virtual experiments, and hands-on activities that prompt visitors to think, to formulate questions, and to explore topics from a variety of angles.

Type of site
Virtual museum
Available inMultilingual, but predominately English
Current statusOnline


There are nine main exhibits.[1] They are:


It was founded in 1999 by Michael Douma at IDEA,[23] and was one of the first virtual museums of its kind.

The site launched with two exhibits on Calendars and Daylight Saving Time, as a complement to www.time.gov. This was the anchor that started the museum. Subsequent exhibits were multidisciplinary, looking at the nexus between science and art. The largest sources of funding have been from contracts and grants from NIST, the U.S. Dept of Ed., and the National Science Foundation.

The first version of WebExhibits in 1999 included a directory of cultural and scientific offerings at other sites. At the time, the major search engines were doing a poor job of directing web users to exhibits at Library of Congress, PBS, Discovery Channel and other sites.[24][25][26] This directory was discontinued in 2003 once search engines became powerful; and it was no longer feasible to include all major online exhibits.

The museum is widely cited in academic, student, professional, and general writing.

WebExhibits was the first testbed of interactive concept maps using the SpicyNodes presentation approach.[27]


IDEA has published research on exhibit design and usability, and advocated for the format as an effective approach to draw in visitors to complex, multidisciplinary topics.[28][29][30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Webexhibits". webexhibits.org.
  2. ^ https://www.amcp.org/data/jmcp/JulyAugust2010.pdf#page=5
  3. ^ Becker, Helaine. "Collaborative teaching in the middle grades: inquiry science". Page 171. Libraries Unlimited, 2005. ISBN 1-59158-191-5.
  4. ^ a b Pipes, Alan. "Foundations of art + design." Laurence King Publishing, 2003. page 264. ISBN 1-85669-375-9
  5. ^ Judd, Carolyn Sweeney. "News from Online: Chemistry and Art." Journal of Chemical Education. Vol 78. No 10. October 2010.
  6. ^ Tully, Judd. "Validating Vincent." Pathways: The Novartis Journal. July/Sept 2003. page 44.
  7. ^ "Letters Give New View of Artist". nysun.com.
  8. ^ Interview of Michael Douma on "Freestyle" with Kelly Ryan on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting) radio, 6-Jan-2006.
  9. ^ Gayford, Martin. "The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Provence" page 315. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008. ISBN 0-618-99058-5
  10. ^ "TeachersFirst Review - Poetry through the Ages: An Expressive Journey". teachersfirst.com.
  11. ^ http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/news/2000/news-newyear.asp
  12. ^ "Watching the years go by," www.4kids.org. 11/29/1999. Universal Press Syndicate. (The site has since changed ownership.)
  13. ^ http://www.latimes.com/news/learning/launch/time.htm
  14. ^ "Site of the Day." The New York Times on the Web. February 7, 2000. For the Chinese Calendar section of the Calendars exhibit.
  15. ^ http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-reed040502.asp
  16. ^ http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2007/nov/03/daylight-saving-time-a-bright-idea/?printer=1/
  17. ^ "Lighten Up". washingtonpost.com.
  18. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/29/technology/news-watch-who-is-springing-forward-and-who-isn-t.html
  19. ^ "Technology - The Times". timesonline.co.uk.
  20. ^ "Season, customs have many seeing red". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  21. ^ Leah M. Melber, Alyce Hunter. "Integrating Language Arts and Social Studies: 25 Strategies for K-8 Inquiry" page 113. SAGE, 2009. ISBN 1-4129-7110-1.
  22. ^ Angel Shanno. "Stick of Butter Cookbook." Cedar Fort, 2007. ISBN 1-59955-009-1. page xii.
  23. ^ Franklin, James L. "Show us what you've got." The Boston Globe. Sunday, September 2, 1999. West Weekly Page 2.
  24. ^ "Online launches" Min's New Media Report." 9.02.99.
  25. ^ http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/swain/nsflibnews/11feb00.html
  26. ^ Net Talk Live! feature in show #170 on 23-Nov-1999. This was a syndicated radio show broadcast on television via ABC, CBS, NBC, WB, UPN, Fox and several independents.
  27. ^ "Archives & Museum Informatics: Museums and the Web 2010: Papers: Douma, M. et al., Concept Maps for On-line Exhibits: Using SpicyNodes". archimuse.com.
  28. ^ "Planning, creating, and evaluating eMuseums: a step by step handbook for museum professionals". k-state.edu.
  29. ^ Bogomazova, T, and Malevanov, C. "On Representation of a Highlight on the Web: The Amber Room as a Cultural Phenomenon in Progress". WWW10, May 1–5, 2001, Hong Kong. ACM 1-58113-348-0/01/0005. (Cites research from IDEA.)
  30. ^ "Cèsar Carreras - Els museus virtuals i el grup Òliba..." uoc.edu.

External linksEdit