TWO museums have produced an online resource that aims to make their collections accessible in the classroom and at home.

Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, County Durham, and the Oriental Museum, in Durham, have collaborated on the What's in the Box? project.

The project has been designed for children and teachers at Key Stage 2 level, but can be used by other age groups.

Each museum has chosen ten items from its collection on the theme of containers.

The objects include an ancient Egyptian cat's coffin, an English teapot designed to look like bamboo, a Japanese sedan chair and a Chinese cricket arena used to contain fighting crickets.

Project leader Claire Jones, the keeper of furniture at Bowes Museum, said: "We hope that this online resource will help children enjoy thinking about how objects are made and why they look the way they do."

Visitors to the What's in the Box? website will find 20 images to click on and find out more about.

What's in the Box? will be online next month and can be seen at www.bowesmuseum.

Published: 06/08/2004