Thursday 25 March 2010

Internet Museums in the Balkans...

First posted: 25.03.2010
Updates: 05.07.2011 (added to FYRo Macedonia)

I have been working of a page called "Sites per Country", which is a rather ambitious affair that you can find at the top of this page (or here). In it I hope to list Museums, Archaeological sites and Various Institutions working on archaeology and history per country, that have a site of their own accessible to all.

Working on this project I found myself defining Museums that enter into this in an ever more loose manner, so that I have ended with a list that contains all Museums I come across on the Web.

The following statistical data refers exclusively to Internet Sites of museums: Sites of Archaeological excavations, research institutions etc have been excluded.

I started with the Balkans, and I am sad to say that things here look rather bleak: With the exception of Greece - although it is an exception mostly due to a lack of competition- Institutions in the Balkan countries do not seem to have cottoned on to the fact that the Web offers enormous opportunities when it comes to scientific research...And that it all starts with a decent Website!

To give you an idea, here are some statistics from the countries whose lists I have already compiled:

Albania: No sites were found. Only a site of an Italo-Albanian co-operation project that seems to have the ambition of presenting all Albanian museum, but for the time being is a shambles.

Albania recently voted a reform of its Archaeological Services following the Italian example; not everyone is optimistic as far as the chosen model is concerned...This is just one aspect of a multilevel infiltration of Italy into Albanian society.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: One museum, admittedly nicely designed.

Bulgaria: From a list of 99 museums given here only one is listed as having a website. I did slightly better having found 5 museums in Bulgaria - of all callings - that have their own websites, albeit most of them rather shabby and amateurish.

Croatia: One museum only possesses a site. For some reason I had hoped for something better in all...The Croatian Museum Documentation Centre is an interesting project, but definitely needs a lot more work!

(F.Y.) Republic of Macedonia: Despite the frenzy of archaeological activity that has been going on during the last few years largely due to what has been termed the "Antiquization" programme of the current government, Museums are sadly lacking when it comes to internet sites. I only managed to locate three (!) museums on the web, of which the largest the (National) Museum of Macedonia does not offer its content in English.

Update 05.07.2011: I added the Museum of the City of Skopje site bringing the number of museum sites to four. I also located three sites for archaeological digs, although the Gradiste site seems to have disappeared... This changes its rank to second.

Greece: As mentioned Greece does rather better than its neighbours: I listed 66 museums that posses a fully functional website, of which only two do not offer their content in English, while most of the larger museums have excellent and professionally designed sites (and the list is far from complete: I just decided to add the other countries before coming back to Greece).

It must be noted, however, that there seems to be a lack of central planning as far as public museums are concerned, and there seem to be many without an internet site of their own. It is also surprising that important museums come out rather low in Google results: for example the National Archaeological Museum - one of the worlds most important museums - appeared on the third page of Google when searching with the Greek term "Μουσείο"...

It must also be noted that while a lot was done in the domain of culture in the run up to the Athens Olympics in 2004, since then it has been plagued by scandals and underfunding, so it shall not be surprising if things take a turn for the worse in the future. See here for current situation of many museums and sites in Greece and for specific sites see here.

Kosovo: No Museum possesses an internet site.

Montenegro: 1 museum, but that is enough to give it the third highest rating, thanks to its small population.

: I only managed to locate museums in Belgrade with internet sites. I can only imagine that the rest of the country also has museums, but it is certainly difficult to locate them on the web...Of the 41 Museums that the Wikipedia lists on its relative page, only eight museums actually have working internet sites. I must however pause to mention the impressively unexpected Museum of African Art in Belgrade, which possesses a rather nice internet site.


No of Listed Museums (With Internet Site)


Population Ratio[1]




(F.Y.) Republic of Macedonia[4]4










Bosnia and Herzegovina[7]












[1] Calculated as: (Listed Museums/Population)x100000 (rounded to second decimal).

[2] Population: As of January 2008, the population of Greece is estimated at 11,262,000 by Eurostat.

[3] 2009 estimate: 672,180

[4] 2009 estimate: 2,114,550.

[5] 2009 estimate: 7,334,935 (excluding Kosovo).

[6] 2009 estimate: 7,560,000.

[7] 2009 estimate: 4,613,414.

[8] 2009 estimate: 4,489,409

[10] 2007 estimate: 1,804,838

[It goes without saying that if you know of any museums in any country that is not listed
here I would be more than interested to hear about it! - Please only Museums that have their own Internet Site!]

(more to come...)

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