1. The Museum of Endangered Sounds
This online museum features thumbnails of familiar icons like "Mac Warning," "AIM," and "Nintendo Cartridge," and the sounds we associate with them. The idea? As the technology becomes irrelevant and those who recognize them get older, we could end up losing the noises all together.
I can't explain the purpose half as well as quirky founder Brendan Chilcutt, who says:
Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I'm gone?
Head over to the museum to relive your childhood, or if you're still a child, to get a history lesson so you can relate more to your parents.
2. The Big Internet Museum
Where else should a museum about The Internet exist but the Internet?! The Big Internet Museum brings together any Internet-related terms imaginable in an art museum format. Click on over to learn more about tech gear, famous memes, websites and programs -- new and old. And since this is an Internet museum and one of the best parts of the world wide web is sharing, you can even submit your own terms if you think they missed something, (they probably didn't, it's pretty extensive).
3. The Busy Beaver Button Museum
If you collect things, there's probably a cool online museum that would be perfect for you. The Busy Beaver Button Museum, for example, has a gallery of hundreds of buttons and descriptions including their history, era, size, and even pin type. Some (most) people might say "who the heck cares?!" which is why there probably isn't a real life museum for buttons. But for the Internet? Why not!
4. Post Secret
We all know Post Secret from that one All American Rejects song way back in 2009 (No? Just Me? Okay). But what it is at it's core is really just an online museum of curated secrets. It certainly qualifies as an art installation, displaying thousands of secrets on postcards sent in from around the world. Hop over to the website for hours of awkward entertainment.
5. Plan 59
Plan 59 is an online museum of 1950's art. If you're into vintage stuff, this is the place for you. You can look at old decor, ads, photography, and more, and it's all super high resolution. If you want to take the art offline, you can head over to the store to buy some pieces of your own, or click over to the blog if you want to learn a thing or two.
6. Museum of Fred
So this dude Fred Beshid loves art. He started collecting art from thrift stores because he felt that it had been abandoned and he needed to save it. Some of it probably should have stayed in the thrift shops, but others are remarkably beautiful. If you can appreciate art even when it isn't hanging in a gallery, check out museumoffred.com.
7. Speccy Screenshot Map Museum
Speccy Screenshot Maps doesn't look like much when you log on, but beneath that veneer of boring listy-ness is the most overwhelming, incredible database of video game dungeon maps ever. These guys have compiled the maps of literally THOUSANDS of games, which is not only interesting but useful! If you need help getting through any game - action, adventure, shooters, RPGs - Speccy has it! And the best part? They're even downloadable. Where else could you get that?
8. The Museum of Obsolete Objects
The MoOO is actually a YouTube channel that creates short videos of objects that are no longer necessary or used in our society so that they may live on via the internet. The quirky videos say when the items were created, and when they became obsolete. May the floppy disc rest in peace.
9. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Okay, so this isn't an exclusively online museum. However, the online experience is just as good as going to the real museum, and it's definitely the most advanced virtual museum tour available. You can walk through the whole building and take as long as you damn well please reading the plaques. And you never have to worry about lines!
If your eyes have just been opened to the world on online museums and you want to find one that fits your interests, check out the Museum of Online Museums (yeah, we know).