You can now explore 20,000 musical instruments from British history at new virtual museum

Online musical instrument museum MINIM UK has launched, showcasing the largest virtual collection of historically significant instruments in the UK.

The museum features over 20,000 different instruments held at more than 100 venues around the UK.

Whether you want to take a look at King Charles II’s virginals harpsichord, read about a rare violin by Andrea Amati from 1564 (pictured), or watch a video about the musical saw, MINIM UK has it all.

MINIM-UK (Musical Instruments Interface for Museums and Collections) is led by the Royal College of Music in major partnership with the Royal Academy of Music, the Horniman Museum and University of Edinburgh.

The project has been supported thanks to an award from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE’s) Catalyst Fund.

MINIM-UK also aggregates information to MIMO (Musical Instrument Museums Online), a European Commission-funded project that currently consolidates the collections of two dozen museums (, and to Europeana (, which collects and provides access to millions of digitised items from libraries, archives, audio-visual collections and museums across Europe, meaning the phenomenal public collections of musical instruments in the UK are accessible as never before.

“The instruments collected by the Royal College of Music, Edinburgh University, Royal Academy of Music and the Horniman Museum over the centuries are an important part of our national heritage,” said Gabriele Rossi Rognoni, curator of the Royal College of Music’s Museum.

“It is tremendously exciting to enable so many people to connect with these beautiful and fascinating objects in a myriad of new ways.”

Check out the wonderful history of musical instruments at


by Laura Barnes, Musical Instrument Professional (MIPRO)

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