Google’s Cultural Institute has just unveiled a new online exhibit about the fascinating colonial history of Nigeria as part of the Institute’s efforts to preserve cultures that are in danger of being forgotten in the future.
In the new exhibit, Nigeria’s Pan-Atlantic University presents its collection of rare historical documents and photographs spanning the years 1851 to 1914, that “tell the story of Nigeria’s formation as a colony,” wrote Lauren Nemroff, program manager of the Google Cultural Institute, in a March 26 post on the Google Africa Blog. A second exhibition traces the transformation of Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, from a cosmopolitan colonial trading center to West Africa’s largest metropolis, wrote Nemroff.
The Nigerian exhibits follow a recent report from UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), which “estimates that half of some 6,000-plus languages and cultures today will disappear by the end of this century if nothing is done to preserve them,” wrote Nemroff.
That’s where the Google Cultural Institute comes in, she wrote. Established in 2010 to “help preserve and promote culture online,” the Institute “is an effort to make important cultural material available and accessible to everyone and to digitally preserve it to educate and inspire future generations.”
The museum’s exhibits already cover a wide swath of historic moments in the history of the world’s cultures, as well as a huge and growing collection of art, artifacts and more from around the world. The Google Cultural Institute hosts marvelous online collections of artwork and cultural treasures that are in hundreds of museums, cultural institutions and archives around the world, according to the group. Google created the organization to help show the collections virtually to people around the globe.
The Google Cultural Institute includes the Art Project, with some 40,000 images of world-renowned and community-based artwork from more than 40 countries; the World Wonders Project, which includes images of modern and ancient world heritage sites from around the world using Street View, 3D modeling and other Google technologies; and archive exhibitions featuring massive collections of information from institutions and museums the world over, much of which cannot always be put on public display, according to Google.
Earlier in March, the Institute launched an online “Women in Culture” project that tells the stories of known and unknown women who have impacted our world as part of the company’s commemoration of International Women’s Day on March 8. The fascinating online feature included 18 new exhibits that showcase detailed stories about amazing women throughout our history.
Included in the new exhibit are features such as Showcasing Great Women, by The National Women’s Hall of Fame; Makers, by WETA (Makers.com: the largest video collection of women’s stories ever); Frida Kahlo: ¡Viva la vida! by Museo Dolores Olmedo; Pioneering Musicians: Women Superstars of the Early Gramophone Era, by the Archive of Indian Music; and Pathways to Equality, by the National Women’s History Museum.
Also included are features on The Struggle for Suffrage, by English Heritage; Profiles for Peace, by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security; This Mad, Wicked Folly: Victorian American Women, by the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation; World Changing Women, by Vital Voices; and The painting Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie’s II, contributed by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
In December 2013, the Google Cultural Institute gained more artwork for its online collections, including a new assortment of pieces that challenge the visual perceptions of viewers.
The online institute features a collection of more than 57,000 pieces of art.
In November 2013, the Google Cultural Museum showcased the five handwritten versions of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address online in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his famous and moving 272-word speech. The five versions were placed online in a special gallery for viewers to read and review. Five different copies of the Gettysburg Address were written by Lincoln and given to five different people, each named for the person to whom they were given, according to AbrahamLincolnOnline.org.