The Science Museum has added a little playful twist to their image archive with a random image generator.

The Random Object Generator displays a different item every 10 seconds (the image below has been speeded up), along with a short description and link to the object in their archive.

Currently over 25,000 images can be seen on the site, with more published online each month.

There’s also an option to set the random image generator as a computer screensaver, so your computer can entertain your office colleagues with random science photos while you’re away in meetings.

Instructions to do that are here.

This playful addition is itself part of a review of the image archive, of over 7.3 million items, that’s now underway as part of a wider plan to move much of the archive to a new facility being built in Wiltshire.

In 2023 the facility will become home to over 80% of the Science Museum Group collection, providing increased public access (both physically and digitally) and stable conditions for its long-term management and care.

Moving 320,000 collection items to the National Collections Centre provides the opportunity to digitise this major part of the collection – research and photography of these items has already begun – creating one of the most extensive online scientific collections in the world.

A review aims to re-examine the significance of these items and together with new research will provide a greater understanding of the collection. New insights into the collection will be published online, while the review will also identify priorities for future collecting and programming in the Group’s museums.

Like all major museums, the Group frequently adds to and occasionally removes items from its collection. As well as focusing on future collecting, the review may identify a small number of items, such as those that are duplicates or better suited to display or research elsewhere, that could be transferred to other public collections.


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