Kodak Gallery, Level –1
The Kodak Gallery tells the story of photography, from the very first photographs to modern digital snaps.
- The history of photography in pictures
From 1835 to the early 21st century, our curators have picked some of the most important and memorable images in our care, providing a fascinating glimpse into the history of photography.
- Photographic technology in the Science Museum Group collection
The Science Museum Group has a huge collection of items that illustrate the history of photography—see and read about them here.
- A short history of colour photography
This blog post takes an in-depth look at how photographs went from black and white to colour.
Life Online, Level 0
Life Online is dedicated to the social, technological and cultural impact of the internet. It explores how our lives changed when the web was born, and how it has transformed our lives and society.
- A brief history of the internet
Trace the history of the internet, from its 1950s origins to the world wide web’s explosion in popularity in the late 1990s (and beyond).
The Forgotten Showman, Level 2
Our recent exhibition revealed the story of engineer and inventor Robert Paul, who was one of the earliest pioneers of cinema and is known as ‘the father of the British film industry’.
- Robert Paul and the race to invent cinema
Read the story of how Robert Paul got involved in the film industry and became one of its most prolific creators.
- Robert Paul objects in the Science Museum Group collection
A 1913 donation from Robert Paul kickstarted the Science Museum Group’s cinematography collection. See some of his cameras and other related items online.
- Robert Paul films on BFI Player
The BFI have numerous Robert Paul films available to watch free online. Check out The ‘?’ Motorist (1906), which features early special effects, and Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost (1901), the first ever screen adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Wonderlab, Level 3
Our newest gallery, Wonderlab is all about the incredible science of light and sound. Sadly, we can’t recreate Wonderlab’s brilliant Mirror Maze or Echo Tube in your living room, but we do have some online resources to get you thinking like a scientist.
- At-home learning resources
Check out our selection of learning resources for educational things you can do at home (perfect for using while school’s out). They include activity sheets, fun videos and online games.
- Wonderlab: explore the exhibits
If you’ve already visited Wonderlab, take a look at these PDF guides which explain the science behind everything in the gallery.
Experience TV, Level 3
Experience TV uncovers the development, significance and cultural impact of one of the most influential inventions of the 20th century: television.
- A short history of British television
From the Televisor to BBC iPlayer, explore a timeline marking key events and developments in the history of British TV.
- Television in the Science Museum Group Collection
TV sets, studio equipment, video recording and more—we hold an unrivalled collection of objects relating to the invention and evolution of television.
Games Lounge, Level 5
In the Games Lounge, you can follow the development of videogaming through the decades—and, of course, play some of the games that made history.
- Science Museum Group games and apps
Did you know that the Science Museum Group has a range of online games and apps? They’re all free and perfect for learning at home.
- Internet Arcade
Part of Archive.org, the Internet Arcade is an archive of over 1,000 retro videogames from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, all free to play online.
- A short history of videogames
This timeline takes a whistle-stop tour through 60 years of videogames (1951–2011), from Nim to the Nintendo 3DS.
- The top 10 songs about videogames
In need of a gaming soundtrack? Enjoy our playlist of videogame-themed tracks.
Animation Gallery, Level 5
The Animation Gallery displays original models and artwork from over 100 animations, including classic characters like Wallace and Gromit and Morph. The gallery reveals the science behind the methods animators use to bring still images to life.
- The mystery of Louis Le Prince
One of the objects on display in the Animation Gallery is the Le Prince single-lens cine camera. Read the intriguing story of its creator, Louis Le Prince, who disappeared in 1890.
- Celebrity Antiques Road Trip on BBC iPlayer
Our Associate Curator of Photography of Photography and Photographic Technology, Phillip Roberts, appeared in this episode, talking about early forms of animation such as magic lanterns and optical toys. You can watch it online until 28 March.
- Lantern slides in the Science Museum Group Collection
Victorian magic lantern shows were an early form of animation and the forerunner of cinema. Our collection includes many beautiful and intriguing examples of lantern slides. For even more magic lanterns, see Phillip’s Twitter thread!
BFI Mediatheque, Level 6
The BFI Mediatheque screens over 2,500 highlights from the BFI National Archive, the world’s greatest and most diverse collection of film and television.
- Free films on BFI Player
While the full BFI Mediatheque catalogue isn’t available online, you can find free archive films on BFI Player. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the collections.
- A very short history of cinema
Learn about the history and development of cinema, from the Kinetoscope in 1891 to today’s 3D revival.
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The National Science and Media Museum is part of the Science Museum Group. There’s lots more to explore across our sister museums’ websites, including videos, games and 3D models. This Science Museum Group blog post is a great place to start.