9/28/1998: NWHM Educates America with the Launch of its Historical CyberMuseum

The National Museum of Women’s History (NWHM), an organization formed to celebrate the contributions of past generations of women, has taken on the challenge of educating America by launching a visual and interactive CyberMuseum at www.nwhm.org. Through its virtual museum on the Internet, the National Museum of Women’s History will highlight women’s achievements and contributions through the ages, a subject that has been constantly misunderstood and underrated. The CyberMuseum at www.nwhm.org, is dedicated to bringing women’s history into the minds of present and future generations of men, women, and children, delivering the Museum’s message and contents into the home, classroom, and work place.

The National Museum of Women’s History CyberMuseum will co-exist with the actual physical museum, to be located in Washington, D.C., once a site is approved by Congress. The CyberMuseum was designed by New York-based O Interactive. The company was chosen to build the educational web site as a result of its creativity, in-depth expertise in interactive media, and deeply rooted interest in women’s history. The National Museum of Women’s History’s first virtual exhibit “Motherhood, Social Service, and Political Reform: Political Culture and Imagery of American Woman Suffrage” is sponsored by the Bell Atlantic Foundation, which supports a variety of technology projects domestically and internationally.

The exhibit was curated by Edith Mayo, Curator Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution, who renovated and expanded the First Ladies exhibit, and serves as curatorial consultant to the National Museum of Women’s History. Timed perfectly to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first American women’s rights convention held at Seneca Falls, New York, the exhibit chronicles women’s suffrage and the involvement of women in politics throughout history. Viewers can take a comprehensive educational journey to relive the history of woman suffrage or take a walking tour through the image gallery to see a variety of event-related materials including the actual buttons worn by the suffragists. Future exhibits will be made possible by other sponsorships.
In addition to the virtual exhibit, viewers can learn about news and events in women’s issues, and visit the NWHM Media Center to view press releases and communicate via e-mail to staff members.

Visitors to the site will also learn how their female ancestors have shaped our nation and our lives. The goal of the National Museum of Women’s History CyberMuseum is to become an invaluable educational tool for teachers and parents around the globe, providing links to informative books and videos.

“If we and future generations are to learn all the lessons of the past upon which to build the future, we must complete the historical record to include the experience and contributions of women,” said Karen Staser, president and founder of the National Museum of Women’s History. “A better world awaits the generations that absorb what women and men have to share about life from a joint perspective.”

Marie Johns, president and CEO for Bell Atlantic-Washington, D.C., said, “Bell Atlantic is proud to support the National Museum of Women’s History and provide public access to this important initiative. Our grant is one more expression of Bell Atlantic’s continuing commitment to support innovative technology-based projects that better our communities and better our lives.”

“The CyberMuseum will allow people from all over the world to experience the accomplishments of women throughout history,” said Orit, president and founder of O Design Group, the parent company of O Interactive. “We have created a powerful information tool with strong, clean, visual appeal that will positively convey the mission of The National Museum of Women’s History.”

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