Virtual MacDowell

Our Town dust jacket, Thornton WilderThe names ?Edward and Marian MacDowell? might not be immediately recognizable to a wide swath of the population. But try some of these names on for size: Aaron Copland, Willa Cather, Leonard Bernstein, Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, James Baldwin, and Thornton Wilder.

Those are but a handful of the luminaries who spent some of their most creative days at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., a sanctuary for some of the most talented artists ever.

The Library of Congress opened its exhibition ?A Century of Creativity: The MacDowell Colony 1907-2007? on Feb. 22, and it will run through Aug. 18.

But now the exhibit?s online component is up and running, and it represents in many respects an evolution in the Library?s Web-based exhibitions.

First, the Library worked with Columbia University?s Digital Knowledge Ventures to produce original documentary video for the online exhibition. Short video clips of curators appear throughout the site to provide additional information about the exhibit itself, exhibition themes, and specific objects.

Library staff also utilized innovative technologies developed by the National Center for Accessible Media to provide closed-captioning for these videos. We hope our use of these methods will both broaden awareness of their existence, while also providing synchronized access to valuable curatorial insights for the hearing-impaired.

We plan to continue producing and making available even more video on our Web site in order to provide the public with the best possible access to the insight of Library curators in a way that is both personal and engaging.

As for the exhibit itself, I didn?t know the MacDowell name beforehand, but I sure won?t forget it now.

Other resources:

The MacDowell Colony?s official site

Lehman Brothers, generous supporter of the exhibition

Other LOC online exhibitions

3 Comments

  1. Jason Hybner
    May 4, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    The new LOC blog is awesome. The information provided so far has been nothing short of spectacular. Keep up the good work!

  2. Stephen
    May 7, 2007 at 6:18 am

    True, i’m hugely interested in this and I love the blog idea.

  3. JACOB
    May 14, 2009 at 5:22 am

    I want to know more

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