Introduction: hand-held guides

Audio guides were once the preserve of big museums but they are now within the reach of smaller ones too - and the web allows you to create guides that visitors can download

Why go hand-held?

Hand-held guides are now almost standard issue at museums and historic sites, but the best are more than just 'talking labels', says Sarah Angliss

How to develop an audio tour

Developing a hand-held tour is a big investment - making it easy to use and reliable is crucial if it is to be popular

Producing a DIY audio guide

Audio-guide production companies can create your whole tour - at a price. But doing at least some of it yourself is not as difficult as you might think

PDAs and self-guided tours

Personal digital assistants take self-guided tours to new levels, adding visuals, interactivity and other possibilities to the audio tour

Case study: PDA tours

Gillian Wilson reveals the lessons the Tate has learned about PDA-based multimedia tours that encourage the art of seeing

Choosing the right audio-tour hardware

The best scripted tour in the world is useless if your devices break, fail to work properly or run out of power. Here is a rundown of how to choose wisely

Hand-held guides for special needs

A hand-held tour can help people with special needs make the most of a museum - both before and during a visit

Case study: multimedia guides

Charlotte Hultén explains how the multimedia guide developed by the Mölndals Museum allows visitors to roam the streets of a historic Swedish town

Case study: audio guides from scratch

Rachel Kirk and Ruth Battersby explain how they developed an audio guide from scratch for Great Yarmouth's Time and Tide Museum

Check list for hand-held guides

A detailed check list for museums looking to develop hand-held guides

Related articles: mobile phone apps

Mobile phone technologies such as apps represent an opportunity for museums to reach new audiences. Find out how your museum can develop its own app whatever your budget