The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has introduced a new digital option, WUSA 9 reports.
Last month, the museum launched its digital initiative, titled Searchable Museum. According to the description, the digital platform seeks to capture the in-house experience of the museum, and share it with anyone who has access to a laptop, smartphone or other digital devices.
Kevin Young, the director of the museum, explained that the digital format allows for the rich history of African Americans to be accessible anywhere.
“This ongoing project provides a chance for Americans to realize our shared past, bringing the unique museum experience to their homes and on their phones,” Young said.
The first exhibition of the digital project is called Slavery and Freedom. Based on David M. Rubenstein History Galleries, users will have the opportunity to virtually experience recreations from the gallery exhibition including:
- The History Elevator will transport visitors back in time from the present to the early 1400s through images accompanied by the powerful words of Maya Angelou.
- Slave Ships of the Transatlantic Slave Trade will offer first-person accounts of the slave trade as well as information about the 40,000 slave ships that crossed the Atlantic Ocean.
- The Domestic Slave Trade features excerpts from bills of sale and slave auction broadsides, highlighting the names of enslaved people.
- The Paradox of Liberty depicts Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President and principal author of the Declaration of Independence, surrounded by the names of the 609 people he enslaved over his lifetime.
Young says that learning about the African American experience is essential in understanding the story of America’s past, present, and future.
“Allowing the public to virtually revisit the originating struggle for American freedom in the ‘Slavery and Freedom’ exhibition reminds us of the centrality of the African American journey to the American experience—a story of triumph, resilience, and joy over the centuries,” explained Young. “With this launch, we look forward to continuing the museum’s digital outreach and efforts. By marshaling the latest technology and harnessing the scholarly and educational experience of the museum’s teams, the Searchable Museum tells the complex story of our nation’s history in ways only the National Museum of African American History and Culture can.”
For more information about Searchable Museum, check out www.searchablemuseum.com and view the trailer below: