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The Object of History

Between 2005 and 2008, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) and George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media (CHNM) collaborated to produce the Object of History project: a low-cost online resource for teachers and students of U.S. history to develop an understanding of material culture as historical evidence.

The Object of History provides online access to six objects from NMAH’s collections through interactive “3D” photographs, contextual information, related historical documents, and relevant resource links for each object. The site also connects teachers and students with the expertise of curators and historians through interviews about each object and its historical context. Additionally, the project serves small museums seeking to enhance their online educational programming by providing a free and easy-to-use template for creating their own versions of the Object of History.