Choose the British Museum's new YouTube series
November 23, 2015 1:26 PM   Subscribe

The British Museum is relaunching its YouTube channel. It's currently considering four themed series, and will pick the one - or ones - that get the most likes. The overview video sets the stage. Here are the four exemplars offered for your consideration:

Curator's Corner: a BM curator talks about their work and passions. This time, it's Irvin Finkel, a dazzlingly be-bearded expert in cuneiform. He concentrates on the rules for a Babylonian board game.

Five Things You Didn't Know... does what it says on the obelisk. Unsurprisingly perhaps for those who know curators, this pilot is about the penis in antiquity.

Behind The Scenes looks at the work that goes on outside the cabinets. This one's an overview of conservation and scientific research

Love Objects, in which a Famous Person from outside the museum talks about their favourite gee-gaw. Here, Grayson Perry gets to fondle the Lyte Jewel, a stupidly fabulous gold cased, gem-encrusted miniature of James the First and Sixth.

Voting ends on 23rd December, with the successful videos kicking off in January.
posted by Devonian (12 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Oh man. Irving Finkel is completely charming and his utter delight with his work practically brought a tear to my eye.
posted by rifflesby at 1:54 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I always wanted to be best friends with people who work in museums. Like they must be some of the /coolest/ people ever.
posted by yueliang at 2:00 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

While we're on the subject, the British Museum just teamed up with Google to make The Museum of the World. It's kind of amazing.
posted by nushustu at 2:08 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Finkel vid is terrific!
posted by thomas j wise at 2:30 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

You people don't want to get me out of my house, now do you? And that goes for you too, nushustu.
posted by ouke at 2:35 PM on November 23, 2015

I've read Finkel's The Ark Before Noah recently and he's *ENTHUSIASTIC* about cuneiform. I'm happy to see he's just as awesome on video.
posted by sukeban at 2:56 PM on November 23, 2015

The Royal Game of Ur is fun and easy to play- print out a board and try it over Thanksgiving! We play ancient board games with kids at our museum a lot, and it never fails to interest even the kids who are usually bored of seeing "old stuff."
posted by Mouse Army at 4:17 PM on November 23, 2015

Oh my god these are delightful and I am delighted
posted by The Whelk at 4:36 PM on November 23, 2015

My favourite is Curator's Corner, and not just because it's Irving Finkel. Although he is fabulous, and The Ark Before Noah is a delight, and he makes me want to learn cuneiform at exactly the same time as he makes me realise I've got a better chance ta becoming an astronaut. I want to know what the curators know, because they're living my dream life.

The others seem more... obvious, and the sort of thing you'd see on telly anyway. My least favourite was Behind The Scenes, because yeah, I don't doubt a word of it and yeah, it's fantastic work, but is it surprising? It also seemed to get the best production. Love Objects - does a celeb have more to say about something fascinating than an academic who knows it backwards? Although Perry does a good job: this as a two-hander between the enthused outsider and the curator in question could be the best of both worlds. Five Things You Didn't Know: listicles have their place, certainly.

Looking at the Like stats so far, I'm not surprised that what I want is inversely proportional to what the people want. Story of my life, already.
posted by Devonian at 4:39 PM on November 23, 2015

The penis one frequently made me yip and squirm in sympathy (decircumcision)...

And I don't even have one...
posted by jrochest at 6:24 PM on November 23, 2015

I want them ALL to win!!
posted by antiquated at 8:03 PM on November 23, 2015

Thank you!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:26 PM on November 23, 2015

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