Virtual museums today aim to be able to reproduce museum objects by creating digital products for presentation to the public. Museum experiments with multimedia have emerged from the concept of A. Malraux of a museum without borders, which was based to some extent on Le Corbusier’s earlier ideas about an endless museum, the expansion of which is possible constantly, for which a whole series of architectural solutions was proposed.
The first experiments with the integration of museum computers into a network began in the 1960s, associated with the activities of the American Museum Association. Museum professionals quickly became aware of the benefits of networking such as creating common information systems and maintaining integrated catalogs, higher speed of data exchange and processing, efficiency in accessing information, new opportunities for curators and organizing exhibitions due to their greater accessibility to information.
There were several strategies for creating the first virtual museums represented on the World Wide Web. Museums as institutions for the storage of unique and valuable objects of historical and cultural heritage began to create web resources designed to represent the museum through the most interesting or even iconic exhibits and collections.
By the early 2000s, virtual museums had reached a new stage in their development. The earlier period of adapting to the Internet environment had passed, and the introduction and development of virtual museum information resources proposed in the second half of the 1990s were yielding results. The experience gained provided a strong foundation for further development of various digital initiatives online and the expansion of areas of application.
The modern development of virtual museums is characterized by an increase in the complexity of these information resources and diversity in all areas. Digital initiatives, many of which were already implemented to some extent by the 2010s, continue to expand and develop.