Minnesota Historical Society Wins Two Prestigious Media and Technology Awards

For immediate release

Release dated: 
May 1, 2012
Media contacts: 

Julianna Olsen, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3039, julianna.olsen@mnhs.org
Megan Lawson, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3141, megan.lawson@mnhs.org

Minnesota Historical Society Wins Two Prestigious Media and Technology Awards

The Minnesota Historical Society is pleased to announce it has received two 2012 MUSE Awards at the 2012 American Association of Museums (AAM) annual meeting now underway in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Historical Society’s MNopedia project (www.mnopedia.org) won Bronze in the Education & Outreach category. The Society’s 1968 Exhibit Vietnam Stories project won Honorable Mention in the Multimedia Installations category.

The MUSE awards competition recognizes outstanding achievement in museum media. The international competition is an activity of the Media & Technology Standing Professional Committee of the American Association of Museums.

"These awards bring a kind of attention to our projects we couldn't get any other way. Museum professionals are an influential group, and they respect the AAM seal of approval," said Jim Ockuly, Minnesota Historical Society Web Project Manager.

MNopedia is a digital content resource that shares current, reliable and relevant information about significant people, places, events and things in Minnesota history. It is currently in Beta and is primarily focused on the Industrial Era in Minnesota history. MNopedia will grow to be comprehensive over time, becoming a useful and effective tool for multiple audiences, including K-12 teachers and students. Its current phase of development relies heavily on audience feedback, through the site itself as well as several other channels, including focus groups, usability testing and social media. Mnopedia is funded by the Legacy Amendment.

The 1968 Exhibit Vietnam Stories project is comprised of eight gripping oral history stories by men and women who served in Vietnam. The stories are illustrated with archival film footage projected inside a real Huey helicopter and enhanced with realistic sound design. Visitors view the stories through the open side door of the helicopter, which is a prominent feature in "The 1968 Exhibit." "The 1968 Exhibit" is a traveling exhibit produced and organized by the Minnesota History Center in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, the Chicago History Museum and the Oakland Museum of California, where it is now on view. The exhibit is supported by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The MUSE Awards competition received applications from a wide variety of museums in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. This year’s entries included projects such as videos, mobile games, multi-touch kiosks, online communities, interactive websites, audio tours and immersive exhibit installations.

“It is an honor and privilege for AAM’s Media & Technology Standing Professional Committee to host the MUSE awards, now in its 23rd year. Once again, the quality of entries has been exceptional, representing the brightest and best digital media projects in the museum and educational world,” says Jack Ludden, Chair of AAM’s Media & Technology Committee.

More than 130 judges – museum and media professionals from across the world – were involved in the process of selecting the winners. Winning entries were expected to demonstrate outstanding achievement in nine areas including content, interface, design, innovation and appeal. Criteria including the quality of writing, script, narrative, editing and research; the quality of video and/or still image; visual appeal; the quality of the users’ experience; and the extent to which new directions were charted or old challenges were resolved through technical innovation.

A complete list of judging criteria and MUSE Award winners can be found on the Media & Technology website: http://www.mediaandtechnology.org/muse-awards/2012-muse-award-winners/

The Minnesota Historical Society was presented with the awards during a champagne reception on Sunday, April 29, 2012. There to receive the awards and represent the Society were Jim Ockuly, Web Project Manager, Erica Hartmann, MNopedia Editor, Molly Huber, Content Developer and Jesse Heinzen, Media Specialist.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.