For this post, I once again explored public history institution websites to see how they presented online exhibitions. This time I looked at the National Women’s History Museum, a privately funded institution working to build a physical structure on the National Mall. As of now, the NWHM researches, collects and shares women’s history through its website. Its exhibits use the collections of other institutions, and several of them take advantage of the LIFE photo collection available through the Google Cultural Institution platform.
The first exhibit, Standing Up For Women: African American Women and the Civil Rights Movement, highlights the contributions of black women to the fight for civil rights throughout American history.
The striking LIFE magazine photos, along with items from the Library of Congress and the National Archives, feature prominently in the exhibit. Although very simple, I find the design very visually appealing and great for focusing on the women individually and as a group.
One part of the exhibit highlights individual women who played significant roles in the Civil Rights Movement. Audio recordings or video clips from oral history interviews from these women, or those who knew them and worked with them, would have added another layer to this compelling exhibit. Other exhibits might be able to take advantage of news recordings from the time, but it can be expected that these would be more likely to exist for male leaders than women.