Online project of the State Hermitage Museum holds live broadcasts both from the Hermitage and from other museums as well and offers a variety of video content.
Content is posted on the official pages of the Hermitage in social networks. Special attention should be paid to "Hermitage Visiting Its Colleagues" selection where the Hermitage team provides broadcasts from other museums, offering insight into the cultural life of their colleagues. It is not only the museums of St. Petersburg that take part in these broadcasts, but other cultural institutions throughout Russia as well.
The aim of the project is to ensure maximum and unique accessibility of the Hermitage to a wide range of people, including those who do not have the opportunity to visit the museum. The task of the project is to find out how open the museum is to both the new technologies and the new formats of social interaction. Hermitage Online project opens the museum's doors and spreads out in virtual environment creating some special kind of inclusion. Many tours capture the places that are closed for a common visitor though accessible to online viewers. Of vital importance was showing not the collections of the museum alone, but its employees as well — restoration artists, researchers, engineers — all those who usually remain invisible. Live broadcasts can show the unknown parts of the museum's life in a manner which is closer to the audience. The project uses advanced technologies and is constantly being improved making it possible to broadcast almost any type of events. Exhibitions opening in hybrid format is another speciality: only immediate participants are physically present at the ceremony while the event is broadcast online, which is not limited to the official part, but also takes online viewers to a special excursion. Many ceremonies come with consecutive interpretation into other languages. The project contributes to culture propulsion and to the viewers' direct interaction with it - you can ask questions to the lecturer and get answers live.
Hermitage Online is more than the museum's project, it's an all-encompassing initiative that reveals cultural life in its cross-section. Museums, theaters and scientific institutes are engaged in the project. You can see exhibitions and main expositions, learn about scientific work, restoration and archeological operations, achievements in technology and engineering, and much more. Scientific conferences and discussions are broadcast where issues important for the entire sphere are negotiated. Since the Hermitage and the project are quite popular, all these issues are elucidated with due regard to the general public. In "Hermitage Visiting Its Colleagues", viewers get to know about a variety of museums, some of which are outside the large cities. Project, which was started by a few employees, has now grown to a big team of like-minded enthusiasts. Episodes feature hundreds of employees who tell the audience about their dearest museum. Each broadcast is run by the hosts who act as mediators between the viewer, the lecturer and the shooting crew. Coordinators, cameramen, moderators, directors and other employees who help in the implementation of each program remain behind the scenes. Project's geography covers all regions of Russia and engages residents of some other countries. Background experience of the project creators makes it possible to broadcast events in any format and to train new employees (not always from the Hermitage) in preparing and running online broadcasts.