Skip to content

By Will Dave on

Never been seen

Explore objects from the Science Museum Group Collection never seen online before thanks to a new digitisation tool.

We start 2021 with three big milestones for the Science Museum Group Collection.

100,000 incredible objects now have a photograph online, the online collection regularly receives 100,000 views each month and we’ve just recorded 3,000,000 visitors since launching the website in late 2016.

Each time you visit our online collection you can see more than ever before.

Almost a quarter of the remarkable objects we care for (24.9% or 105,715 objects to be exact) have a photograph online, with hundreds of new photographs added each month as we digitise our vast collection.

You can explore photographs of artworks, tools and video games, or items from astronomy, firefighting and printing to give a few examples from the collection (which can be seen below).

Zoom in on the amazing detail in an Apollo 11 lunar chart, or study aerial images from across the world, a Chinese star map or this colourful geological diagram.

In the past we’ve released digital tools to help you explore the collection, including our Random Object Generator, Museum in a Tab (a Google Chrome extension) and What the machine saw (a machine learning experiment). You can even add our objects to the popular game Animal Crossing.

However, it can be difficult to spot recently photographed objects in the collection. So today we have published a new tool to help you explore these new items.

Never Been Seen

Never Been Seen shows objects from the Science Museum Group Collection that have never been seen online before.

Each time you refresh this webpage an object with zero views is shown, making you the very first person to see it. To try it just click on the link above, or the image below.

Never been seen screenshot

We’re adding new photographs online all the time, so spend a few minutes with the collection and be the first in the world to discover an object that has never been seen online before.

If you would like to know more, you can examine the code behind the tool on our Github site.

Never been seen has been released as part of our ambitious project to share more of the Science Museum Group Collection with audiences across the world.

We are working hard to study, photograph and digitise hundreds of thousands of objects as they are moved to a new home at the National Collections Centre in Wiltshire, which will open for public tours, school and research visits once the object move is completed.

Regular updates on the project are provided through this blog series.