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Kings College London / Birkbeck University of London

Shakespeare in the Royal Collection

London, England

  • Online exhibition with storytelling and IIIF
  • Public-facing exhibition built around research outcomes
  • User-friendly content management
  • AHRC funded

Shakespeare in the Royal Collection (ShaRC) explores the holdings of the Royal Collection in detail to ask the connected questions: what has Shakespeare done for the royal family, and what has the royal family done for Shakespeare?

Cogapp partnered with King’s College London and Birkbeck University of London to deliver the online exhibition, when the physical exhibition planned for The Globe had to be moved online.

Through key objects from the Royal Collection and Royal Archives – including paintings, letters, decorative objects and more - the online exhibition ‘Making History: Shakespeare and the Royal Family’ investigates the tangible effect of royal patronage on the afterlives of Shakespeare’s plays. 3D visualizations allow visitors to see historical performances at Windsor Castle brought to life through the eyes of Queen Victoria and Her Majesty The Queen when Princess Elizabeth.

The website is featured in The Guardian and The Telegraph.

Building a better online world for the people who use our work

The digital exhibition offers a number of advantages over a physical exhibition. All the objects are zoomable to high resolution, served by the Royal Collection Trust’s IIIF server.

Cogapp’s Storiiies platform enables users to take a guided tour around selected images, with written commentary provided by subject experts.

The site also incorporates 3D models, a timeline, and films.

Screenshot showing a selected portion of the timeline
A selected portion of the timeline

Building a better online world for our clients

The online exhibition required a complete reimagining from the planned physical exhibition. Cogapp worked closely with the ShaRC team to adapt the structure and style of the content for digital presentation.

The finished exhibition blends the content expertise of the ShaRC team with the digital experience of Cogapp to create a user-friendly, intellectually stimulating resource.

Dr Sally Barnden and Dr Kirsten Tambling wrote about translating across formats on the KCL blog From physical to digital: staging exhibitions in a pandemic.

Leading our industry forward

Accessibility is a key focus of our work with ShaRC. The site scores 100% for accessibility and for best practices using Google’s Lighthouse technology.

We delivered training in writing good alt text to the ShaRC team, who then put a lot of time and thought into creating meaningful image descriptions, and adding these to the Craft CMS.

Accessibility also extends to our Storiiies platform, which received a number of updates as part of this project.

Find out more

Visit the site at sharc.kcl.ac.uk/exhibition

If you would like to talk about creating an online exhibition, please get in touch.