The innovative and out-of-the-box thinking that has made the SA Naval Museum both an award winner and a popular attraction has again been implemented to overcome lockdown restrictions.
Curator Commander Leon Steyn notes “thankfully, the digital revolution, hyper-connectivity and the availability of social media platforms make it easier to communicate with museum audiences”. This saw the creation of virtual museum tours with video podcasts streamed through the museum’s Facebook page and group to take it into peoples’ homes.
Proof of its popularity comes with the numbers which show the Simon’s town museum received more “visitors” in the first month of lockdown than “normal” months. The museum averages around 1 200 “real-time” visitors a month with “virtual tours” and posts on Facebook recording a total “reach” of 5 253 with 1 482 active engagements between 26 March and 22 April.
“Not bad, for a small museum that is actually closed,” was Steyn’s comment.
He urges naval history aficionados and people wanting to learn about South Africa’s long and proud naval history and traditions to follow YouTube links to Museum virtual tours one, two, three, four and five.
Last year the museum proved its knowledge of the digital age winning Category C of the SA Museum Association awards for the best museum website.