Marketing the Archives: Newseum on how the New York Herald reported Lincoln’s Assassination 150 years ago

On this date, 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth while watching a performance in Ford’s Theater in Washington DC. President Lincoln died the next morning, on 15 April 1865.

Newseum Video - Lincoln Assassination
A still from the Newseum video.

To commemorate this tragic event from our nation’s history, the Newseum (a 250,000-square-foot museum of news on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington DC ), is exhibiting a collection of special editions from the New York Herald chronicling the coverage of Lincoln’s assassination. The exhibition runs through 10 January 2016.

The exhibit brings together all seven editions for the first time since 1865, beginning with the 2 a.m. edition, which contained the first Associated Press report that Lincoln had been shot. The display also includes a recently discovered 8:45 a.m. “extra” that was one of the first newspapers to report the president’s death.

This short one-minute video is an excellent example of using archival collections for digital storytelling, and of how special collections can be marketed with very little expense and simple multimedia technologies.

  • The video is mostly digitized archival still images — copies of the Herald’s front pages, as well as contextual historical images and primary source documents.
  • Text, animations, and transitions can be added to this type of project via PowerPoint or Google Presentations.
    • PowerPoint or Google Presentations can be converted to video format supported by YouTube. This article provides 6 how-to examples (some tools retain animations and transitions, some do not). I tend to go with Moyea PPT to Video Converter for a PC, and Adobe Captivate or Camtasia for Mac (my work provides me with paid licenses to Captivate and Camtasia). Captivate and Camtasia allow me to add voiceover narration.
    • A number of my colleagues like to use BrainShark or Animoto to convert slides to video, and to add voiceover narration.
  • Converted slideshows-to-video, as well as BrainsShark and Animoto videos, can both be easily uploaded to YouTube.
  • Still images can be uploaded to the free YouTube Editor to create a video, even without being integrated into a PowerPoint or Google Presentation. Choose background music from the rights-free music library. Unfortunately, voiceover narration cannot yet be added.

HT to Mashable for bringing this video to my attention.

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