The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NIMAAHC) is set to open next week!
The museum will be a voyage into the important contributions of African Americans in the United States. This museum is opening at such a monumental time in history and culture; while we are starting to realize our value and worth, the NIMAAHC is a great reminder of where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. It is an arrangement of our stories and contributions that are a major piece of who we are as a nation.
Dr. Lonnie Bunch had the vision to make the museum the most technologically advanced in the world, and Google will be bringing his vision to life with a first-of-its-kind 3D interactive exhibit and a $1 million dollar grant from Google.org, which is part of their work on racial and social injustice issues.
“Our team quickly learned that museums are often only able to showcase a fraction of their content and archives to visitors. So we asked ourselves: what technology do we have at Google that could help enrich the museum experience? We worked closely with the museum to build an interactive exhibit to house artifacts from decades of African American history and let visitors explore and learn about them. With 3D scanning, 360 video, multiple screens and other technologies, visitors can see artifacts like a powder horn or handmade dish from all angles by rotating them with a mobile device. The interactive exhibit will open in spring 2017.” – Google Team
In addition to the 3D interactive exhibit, students will be able to take a digital journey through African American History with Google Expeditions. Earlier this year, Google formed the African American Expedition Council – a group of top minds in Black culture, academia and curation. The AAEC helped develop Expeditions that tell the story of Africans in America. The Expeditions captured images of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail and Martin Luther King Jr.’s National Historic Site.
Google will be celebrating the opening of the NMAAHC during one of the most important weeks for African Americans in D.C, the week of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). The NMAAHC will be one of the most innovative museums in history not just because of the cool interactive exhibit but because of it is a major contribution to the knowledge and education of African American’s, our contributions, and our history. Many times African Americans are not credited for the impact that they have on this nation is helping change that.
“Day to day, I work on Google Maps, where we help people around the world find and discover new places. Working on this exhibit has given me a chance to help people discover something else – the ways African American history is vitally intertwined with our history as a nation. I’m proud of the role Google has played a role in taking people on that journey.” – Travis McPhail of Google Maps