Post by: Beth Harris and Steven Zucker,
KA Deans for Art and History
Walking through the British Museum is to walk through the history of the great civilizations of the world. The Rosetta Stone. Aztec mosaic masks. Buddhist manuscripts that had been hidden for years in a cave. Some of the most extraordinary historical objects in the world live there, and we’re so excited today to announce that we’ve partnered with the world’s oldest national public museum. Both institutions, Khan Academy and the British Museum, share a wish to provide access to the world’s treasures to everyone, wherever they live. It’s hard not to be awed by this venerable institution—the breadth of its collection (geographically and chronologically) is virtually unparalleled, and it’s not surprising that it is one of the most visited museums in the world.
Khan Academy has created tutorials selected from the museum’s more than 3 million objects that serve to educate people about the history and culture of the world’s great civilizations—objects from nearly every corner of the world. The British Museum’s collection includes objects from sacred caves, tombs, palaces, homes, and temples: both objects people used every day (pots, tools, jewellery, and coins), and objects they held sacred—and now you can learn their context and background—from wherever you are in the world.
On a personal level, we have a long history with the British Museum ourselves!
Steven first visited when he was 11 years old, and he remembers the ancient Egyptian mummies best, but he also remembers being amazed by how differently each culture portrayed what was important to them. Beth spent months on end in the circular, domed reading room of the British Library which was then in the center of the Museum, while writing her Masters thesis, taking her breaks in the galleries to get inspired. We’re so happy that many more people around the world can imagine themselves here, and perhaps one day visit themselves.