For my print project proposal, I propose looking at the Museum of the American Revolution on various platforms, looking at how this newer museum is engaging with the public.
The Museum of the American Revolution is a newer institution in Philadelphia, PA just a few blocks from independence hall. This museum opened its doors in 2017 following the mission statement “The Museum uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government.” Since opening its doors, the Museum has engaged with hundreds of thousands of guests in person, but also virtually.
Something special about the Museum of the American Revolution is its virtual programming. This organization has an emphasis on digital engagement. I plan to dig deeper into how different demographics are interacting with the content produced by the museum. The main demographic I plan on researching is secondary educators.
There are virtual field trips, reading lists, lesson plans, and a plethora of other digital accommodations. Looking at how these resources open up education and engagement with the American Revolution, as well as how these resources build up the literature and literacy of the American Revolution amongst the public is an interesting study. This museum’s digital history, much more than most, opens up new ways to “do history.”
I plan on combing through Instagram and Twitter, looking up different hashtags used by the museum to highlight different users of these digital resources. A plethora of teachers build teaching communities on both social media platforms. Understanding these teaching communities that transcend school district lines, even state lines, gives a better understanding of how the use of these digital history resources are highlighted. Hashtags such as #readtherevolution and #howrevolutionary are utilized by the Institution to engage with guests.
On Instagram, there are approximately 1000 posts archived under the hashtag #howrevolutionary. On Twitter, there are even more. As for #ReadtheRevolution, on Instagram there are a little more than 100.
I plan on looking at how people are engaging with the Museum virtually. In an age where social media and the rise of internet connectedness continues to break geographic barriers, museums like the Museum of the American Revolution are uniquely situated to connect with people. With emphasizing hashtags, museums open up doors for younger demographics to learn more about history, especially those who cannot travel to where museums are. The Museum of the American Revolution is setting trends in this field.