Museums are the vaults of the world that represent us and our histories. They are deeply human constructs, and we love them.

But, not everyone can visit a museum, and even if you can visit, you might only see about 5% of the collection, and even then, chances are you can’t touch anything, and you interact through glass and esoteric wall labels. It’s difficult. We want to make it easy, by sharing objects outside the museum.

“It’s really fun because it’s like playing and learning combined.”

Young Aucklander

Our mission

To help museums increase access to their collections, and connect people through shared histories. 

Our vision

Museum collections flowing beyond the walls of their buildings into new contexts and spaces. The Box becomes a conduit for new histories being recorded and shared as objects are converted into stories.

Our values

  • There are many histories.
  • Creativity is as important as numeracy and literacy.
  • Tech is a tool, not our master.

Our history

The company started its life as an R&D project called The Small Museum, produced by our sister company Good, Form & Spectacle, at Somerset House in London in March 2015. We incorporated in October that year, after being so buoyed by reactions to The Small Museum, our experiments in Internet of Things, 3D printed museum objects, and telling new stories about museum objects.

The Team

Adrian McEwen
Technical lead

Adrian is a veteran Internet of Things engineer and inventor. He also co-founded DoES Liverpool, a successful community-run makerspace in 2011, which he still runs with partners.

Takako and Aska and the Tower of London Box

Takako Copeland
Maker of Special Things

Takako is an illustrator, printmaker, and box constructor. She creates special objects and containers for our commissions, like the gorgeous Bata shoebox, or the Point It Out pamphlet we recreated for the Scouts.

Jenn Phillips-Bacher
Box Maker

Jenn has been a library worker, tech trainer, web wrangler and product manager for libraries and museums since 2002. She is responsible for box construction and order fulfilment.

Freelance Creative Collaborators

When we do commissions, we love to work with new creatives to make the audio we create as good as it can be. If you’re interested to be one of those creatives, do please get in touch.

Actors: Becky Wright, Hemi Yeroham, Suni La, Hayley Cartwright, Richard Hand, Drew Carter-Cain, Wendy Patterson, Ross Grant, Julie-Anne Dean, Jessica Carroll, Jamie Hinde, Timothy Allsopp
: Esther Springett, Ciara Brennan, Antonia Porter, Mbongeni Nomkonwana
Educators: Mandy Robinson, Harriet Marrinan, Dr Kate Ness Swanson
Producers: Florence Evans
Sound: Lucia Scazzocchio
Studio: Offset Audio, The Voiceover Gallery
WritersTom Bowtell, Tash Hodgson, Samuel Bailey, Rob Sherman, Louise To, Liz Laribee

Advisory Board

  • Gill Wildman: design strategist, company director
  • Nick Stanhope: design for social change leader
  • Abira Hussein: archives, diaspora, and community scholar
  • Ben McGuire: ex-Virgin Group IP, general counsel

Student Placements & Volunteers

We were happy to welcome a team of volunteers from Verizon Media who helped us make 100 boxes in 2019!


George Oates, George Weyman, Tom Flynn

George Oates

George has worked on the web since 1996. An expert interaction designer and product manager, she was founding designer at Flickr, then invented Flickr Commons, led design at Internet Archive. She’s a recognised leader in digital in the cultural sector, and speaks about her work at events around the world.

She is now the founding Executive Director of the Flickr Foundation.

Tom Flynn
Co-founder and designer

Tom is an expert 3D creative, and has 10 years experience in A/V design and production. He’s worked for several large UK institutions including British Museum and the Barbican, and is now Cultural Heritage lead at Sketchfab.

George Weyman
Clore Fellow

We were absolutely gobsmacked when George approached us for his Clore Leadership placement (because usually people go to gigantic prestigious institutions). George helped us understand the funding/VC landscape, and even voiced a few objects in our Big Stuff from the British Museum in his lovely baritone.


Thibaut Evrard

Thibaut is a Creative Technologist, and graduate of the RCA Interaction Design program. He helped us make 80 boxes, and get the Make Your Own pilot kicked off in 2018.


Charlie Cattel-Killick

Charlie graduated in 2016 from Falmouth University’s Sustainable Product Design course and came to work at Museum in a Box practically the next day. He was with us for about four years, and helped in all aspects to bring the product to market.

Supporters & Friends

Adrian Murphy, Head of Digital
Alex Julyan, Artist
Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Designer and IoT pioneer
Annette Mees, Ideas Machine and Creative Director
Daniel Pett, Creative Archaeologist
Eliza Gregory, Artist
Frankie Roberto, Creative Technologist
Gareth Williams, Professional CEO
Geoff Browell, Archivist
George Weyman, Clore Leadership Program Fellow 2016
Gio Donaldson, Entrepreneur
Glen Barnes, Rogue Ruby Dev
Harriet Maxwell, Content Producer
Jon Beck, Scanner of Worlds
Kai Turner, Product Manager
Matthew Cock, CEO, VocalEyes
Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Humanities
Phil Thomas, Maker of Boxes
Rev Dan Catt, Proper Engineer
Rosalind Parker, Associated Researcher
Steve Cox, Printing Tinkerer
ThinkSee3D, 3D Printing

L-R: Adrian, Rev Dan Catt, Fiona, Gill, and Charlie at our very first “brainraising” in 2016. We all look so young!

Our Crowdfunding Patrons

(Who generously gave their support to our Crowdfunder campaign in August 2018.)

Naomi Alderman, Cristóbal Álvarez, Nicky Birch, Alex Blood, Julie Bottrell, Stewart Butterfield, Sara Rouse Cardello, Daniel Catt, Daniel Cohen, Rachel Coldicutt, Blaine Cook, Henry Cooke, Eric Costello, russell davies, Taryn Davies, Katie Day, Martin Devereux, Molly Ditmore, Imwen Eke, Joanna Ellis, Rebekah Ford, Anne and Forbes Fowlie, Belinda and James Fowlie, David C Frazer, Rachel L Frick, Katharine Handel, Claire Hansford, Chris Heathcote, James Jefferies, Courtney Johnston, D Jones, Greta Lake, Claire Lanyon, Mai Le, Annette Mees, Fiona Miller, Evelyn Neufeld, Nick O’Leary, Margaret and Jeff Oates, Daniel Pett, Jacqueline Pease, Jennifer Phillips-Bacher, Anna Pickard, Kim Plowright, Annelynn Pyck, Clare Reddington, Jo Roach, Frankie Roberto, Cassie Robinson, Sophie Sampson, Dinah Sanders, Nick Stanhope, Jo Stichbury, ben terrett, Jennifer Tharp, Ben Vershbow, Matt Webb, Gill Wildman, Simon Wistow… and several folks who wish to remain anonymous.

Get In Touch

Please say hi. We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in a bespoke commission, or if you’d like to register your interest as a teacher or parent, or if you’re from a museum who might be interested to use a Box for your outreach.

  • Museum in a Box C.I.C. is registered in England, company number: 09849074.
  • The Museum in a Box logo is a registered trademark ®
  • Our Privacy Policy

What’s edtech? What’s a community interest company?

6 replies on “About”

Might I ask what device you use for the RFID detector interface to the Pi? Are any circuit/interconnect diagrams available or is all of this proprietary?

Museum in a box is the best thing I’ve heard of in years! The idea of bringing a virtual museum to schools, colleges and individuals ‘in a box’ is super exciting?
It’s such a wonderful concept and has unlimited scope.
I have a private collection that contains over 170,000 preserved specimens from across the natural world and I would love to design a box! Please tell me how I can get involved – this is simply brilliant.

Hi Andrew – we can send you an email to say hi, and find out more from you about how you might like to get involved – talk soon.

I am a parent in a high diverse but low income school district in the United States and I wondering if you company was doing any pilot projects at a school district level? All the museum in our area concentrated in Seattle or other large cities that are hard to get into both transportation wise and cost wise. I obviously can’t speak for the district but I would absolutely love to see this all classrooms.

Hi Erin!

We’re in the middle of a major pilot called “Make Your Own” at the moment, which is testing a new “kit” version of Museum in a Box where school children (or museum professionals!) can create their own collection of objects, record their stories, and put it all together in a Box. There are a couple of pilots on the West Coast (Portland, and two in San Francisco). Although there are several schools in the pilot (15 of 40, I think?), we’re not working directly with a school district just yet, though that would be fabulous.

We hear you on the ‘hard to get to’ problem – that’s hugely common, and something we’re trying to address head on!

If you have any connections with the Seattle School District machinery, do please put me in touch, or direct me to the right place!

glo [at] museuminabox.org

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