In this post, I will be reviewing and comparing two websites that use digital history methods to display aspects of Frederick Douglass’ life at,
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/frederick-douglass-national-historic-site. Created and maintained by the National Park Service, https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/faqs.htm. Reviewed February 16, 2019.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Virtual Museum Exhibit. https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/frdo/index.html. Created by the Museum Management Program, National Park Service in collaboration with Frederick Douglass National Historic Site staff. Edited by Joan Bacharach, Carol M. Highsmith, Amber Young, Julie Kutruff, Cathy Ingram, Frank Faragaso, and Eola Dance, https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/frdo/credits.html. Reviewed February 16, 2019.
Both websites were created by the National Park Service in some capacity. The Google site does not give credit to any particular individual, however, while the virtual museum exhibit does. This is one thing that this website does more thoroughly than the Google site; it gives more insight into how the website was constructed and maintained.
Another similarity between the websites are the functionality of every hyperlink and interactive element works as expected. This shows that adequate effort has been put into the websites’ designs by the website creators. However, one of the issues with the virtual exhibit is that certain elements require the user to have Adobe Flash Player, which affects the accessibility of the website. Also, the design of the website seems to look somewhat antiquated due to the font choices and overall appearance; the other website has a more modern and sleek design that presents the information within more clearly and in an easy-to-use format.
The use of digital media in both websites has been effective, as both provide ways to see the last home of Frederick Douglass in a way that would not be possible with traditional print media. The Google site has an interactive panorama that allows site visitors to view the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site museum almost as if they were there in-person. The virtual museum tour has a similar feature.
Both projects seem to have similar audiences; people who want to learn more about Frederick Douglass’ life and possibly want to visit the national historic site. I feel that both websites serve their audiences well. The virtual tour website seems to have more of a “guided tour” type feel that provides more context than the Google site.