200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

IMAGINE:

A research student located half-way across the globe is seeking oral histories from the Great Depression. Thrilled to find in-depth web access to the Museum’s resources, she offers to share her own findings with the Museum. This enhances how we share the unique story of McLean County and its special place in history.

GETTING THERE:

Embrace new digital technology to improve access and find new ways to connect visitors, students and researchers with McLean County’s rich history.

Students and Teachers – The Museum will publish historical topic resource kits and interactive online versions of exhibits to reach curious minds anywhere, anytime. SMART boards will be available in exhibits for educators to integrate class curricula. Touchscreens can be programmed for targeted, hands-on experiences for different learning styles.

Visitors– With digital technology, visitors will be able to delve much deeper into a wider variety of topics and learn more about the artifacts that interest them. New technology will include video mini-theaters, touchscreen discovery panels, smartphone applications for interactive learning, digital photo displays, and audio enhancements.

Scholars – The creation of an online portal on the Museum’s website and improvement of archival finding aids will share our rich archives and object collections with researchers worldwide

Bridge the digital divide . . .

Digital technologies have created new paths of discovery for museum visitors, students, and teachers. These technologies do not replace museum objects, but can dramatically enhance people’s understanding of them. Touchscreens and mobile smartphone applications will allow visitors to access unprecedented amounts of information about objects and people of interest while conserving exhibit space. The technology upgrades will also allow curators to offer special exhibit interpretations for different ages and learning levels

Interact with the past . . .

While the campaign’s digital initiative will enhance the experience and offer alternative approaches to learning for all who use the Museum, it will especially engage the younger generations who are sophisticated users of these technologies. Offering dynamic interactive programs about real people who once inhabited the same space encourages young learners to connect with history. Digital video displays give a voice to people and their stories that are featured in the exhibits while showing how people used the objects that are on display. Hands-on activities such as our pioneer wagon will help children better understand and empathize with people of yesterday—and today—who left their homeland to make a new home here in McLean County.

Preserve for the future . . .

Meeting these digital goals will require a foundation of strong infrastructure and professional resources. Your support will enable the Museum to: 

  •  Fund the Curator of Digital Humanities position for five years;
  • Upgrade our historic building’s technological infrastructure, including Wi-Fi access in every gallery, hardwired internet throughout the building, and a more robust server;
  • Secure computers and other equipment to produce digital content and to create global access to Museum archives via our website

Your commitment is needed to extend the Museum’s legacy of excellence . . .

For more than a century, the Museum has successfully used artifacts and stories of past people to connect different generations and reflect on our heritage of hopes, triumphs and failures. Your support will dramatically enhance our ability to continue this mission. With increasingly diverse audiences and fundamental changes in 21st century learning, we must strive together in the present to preserve the past in order to shape the future. Help us ensure that the heritage of McLean County will continue to play a vital role in community life.


For Digital Initiative

Curator of Digital Humanities total compensation for five years
                                     $250,000          
Interactive equipment and programming for new long term exhibits                    
                                     $100,000                
Digital Infrastructure
                                     $100,000                       
Website Development and construction
                                    $50,000
Total                                    $500,000