Democratise access to culture through online collections

Website, advanced search
MAH - Musée d'Art et d'Histoire

Allow the public to explore the works of arts of the MAH in great detail!

The Geneva Museums of Art and History bring together multidisciplinary collections including paintings, sculptures, prints, books, historical and archaeological objects, covering the major stages in the history of Western art, from Prehistory to the contemporary period. Today, the MAH collection can boast of presenting six major areas of specialty: Fine Arts, Graphic Arts, Archeology, Applied Arts, Library of Art and Archeology and Watchmaking, Enamelling, Jewelery and Miniatures.

Inovae has put its Drupal expertise at the service of the new MAH collections site, online since the start of 2020. Both for amateurs and specialists, the site allows visitors to discover more than 64,000 works through thematic galleries.

Multiple features such as contextualised navigation, an advanced search tool, a zoom tool, the possibility of creating public galleries or even bookmarking ... allow the public to explore the collections in great detail!

650000.objects in the collection
64639.objects referenced online

The challenges

Democratise access to culture with an easy-to-use site

Made up of donations, bequests and deposits accumulated over more than two centuries, the collection of the Museum of Art and History reflects Geneva's taste and its history. The objective of the project was to focus on the accessibility of these works so that everyone can contemplate them from their living room.

Not only would the site bring out of the shadows all the works not exhibited at the museum, but above all, this platform would erase borders and allow the consultation of thousands of works all over the world.

In parallel with this global vision, the challenge was to build the most efficient and complete solution that would allow users to live a unique and interactive experience.

MAH search

An advanced search engine

The site is focused on a dynamic that both facilitates a simple search for works for amateurs, while offering academics a sufficiently developed tool to conduct detailed research on specific criteria. Navigation between works is possible by following several entry points (gallery, search result, basket, etc.).

MAH Oeuvre

A personalised experience

And interactivity is reinforced by the possibility of creating your own gallery with a bookmark that allows you to share your favorite works with other persons by publishing it on the site, ordering your HD images or even downloading your selection in pdf format.

Solutions and technologies

Organise, reference and provide access to thousands of works

The technology chosen for this project was the open-source Drupal CMS. The 64,639 works of art of the MAH (and this number continues to increase!) were pushed into the database of the Drupal site using JSON: API by the IT services of the city of Geneva. The challenge is to organise the data structure in Drupal to match the data scanned in the internal Museum + software.

Many features have been developed by Inovae to meet the specific needs of this project:

  • an advanced search engine based on ElasticSearch fine-tuned to deliver relevant search results.
  • a zoom tool coupled with an IFF server.
  • a contextualized navigation allowing to navigate in a group of works according to the entry point (search, gallery, list of works of an author, etc ...).
  • bookmarking and the ability to create public galleries for anonymous users.
  • an indexing and searching by color: when you are on the page of a work, the dominant colors are displayed and are linked to the search results page.
  • the possibility of generating a pdf export of each content of the site (work, author, gallery, selection, search result).


Digital agency based in Geneva and working throughout Switzerland, Inovae is an expert in websites development, intranets and collaborative platforms.


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