The museums of Franch-Comté can innovate thanks to aid from the Ministry of Culture and from the Regional Council of Franche-Comté.
For your smartphone or MP3, they offer you downloads of commentaries that you can listen to during your museum tour, of thematic visits to allow you to further your knowledge of specific aspects, of tours for teenagers, of music played with the instruments on display, and any number of other possibilities.
If you do not have this type of equipment yourself, already loaded MP3 players are available for museum visitors at the reception desk.
The musuems of Franche-Comté in the day of numerical technologies
Eight museums of Franche-Comté have pooled their resources and ideas to advance the use of mobile phones for their exhibits. A dual observation is at the origin of this project. Firstly, telephones are usually frowned upon in museums and are considered to be disturbing for visitors who prefer to browse among the collections without finding themselves immersed in the private or professional life of those who freely use their phones in public places. This is why the use of telephones has largely been forbidden in these places. The museums of Franche-Comté are trying to reverse this trend and, instead of forbidding telephones, are trying to implement new practices in museums. They thus suggest that the owners of smartphones — these multi-function telephones that are more and more widespread — download the recorded guided tours at home before coming to the museum. The second observation is that young people do not often go to museums because they do not find there the technologies they use for information or entertainment. Many of them are also veteran users of smartphones and so the museums of Franche-Comté also have digital guided tours ready for the young to download.
Among the three hundred projects submitted to the Ministry of Culture, this project has been retained and is piloted by the federated section of the Association of Curators of French Public Collections. It brings together the Time Museum of Besançon, the Fine Arts Museum of Gray, the Museum of Comtois Houses in Nancray, the Salt Museum of Salins-les-Bains, the Fine Arts Museum of Dole, the Vesoul Museum and the Eyeglass Museum of Morez. The project is financed by the State and by the local governments that own collections, the Region of Franche-Comté and by the association’s own funds.
To obtain the digital visits, you need only download them onto your smartphone from the internet site: http://mobile.musees-franchecomte.com. Depending on the museum, you will find thematic tours enabling you to learn more about specific aspects of the museum, the history of a restoration or the life of historical figures who have a connection with the museum collections; some tours are intended for teenagers or the sight-impaired; you may also listen to workshop noises, the sounds of machines or the musical instruments found in the exhibitions.
These tours are dynamic and fun, and it is amusing to see teenagers take over the family tour and guide their parents through the museum.