Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard on a new project for Ford’s Theatre leading up to the Sesquicentennial of the Lincoln assassination. Remembering Lincoln is part of Ford’s 150: Remembering the Lincoln Assassination—a series of programs and events marking 150 years since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865.
Since October, we’ve collaborated with Ford’s digital projects and education team to conceptualize, design, and develop an online exhibit and collection that would support the anniversary and act as a resource for educators and enthusiasts after the events.
An exhibit, collection, and teaching resource
Remembering Lincoln was built to be versatile: share responses of the assassination from different perspectives, supplement the events of Ford’s 150, and act as an on-going resource in the classroom after the events come to a close. The project aims to tell a rich story by allowing visitors to explore the breadth and variety of reactions to the events surrounding the assassination and funeral. We wanted to allow visitors to explore the site and find connections to the story that are relevant to them. When you find a piece of the story—a letter, a ribbon, or a photograph—that impacts you emotionally, you could add it to you personal collection to save for later. This also serves as a way to keep the site relevant past the events in April. By providing teaching resources, contributed by teachers and refined by Ford’s Theatre, the site allows educators to use Remembering Lincoln as a way to engage students with the story and objects in the collection. Eventually, the objects will return to their respective institutions—the project serves as a way for them to live together to create a cohesive experience far into the future.
Comments and responses
Remembering Lincoln has received some great feedback and responses so far. Here are just a few of the positive remarks the project has received since the launch last week:
How we collaborated with Ford’s Theatre
Interactive Mechanics joined Ford’s Theatre as a digital partner to help bring the concept and previous work on content and strategy to the web (see the amazing grant work completed by David McKenzie and his team: http://blog.fords.org/2014/07/11/user-experience/). Our team was involved from the discovery and content development phase through the development and launch of the site in March 2015. This was an important initiative for Ford’s—one of the first online digital projects that the museum has built. We wanted to help make this a significant milestone for the museum. Some of the ways we were involved included: content audit and strategy; user research and testing; interactive and visual design; development with Drupal; and documentation to help ensure the site remains up-to-date and fresh in the future.