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Published on : Wednesday, April 1, 2015
In 2014, Lennox & Addington County completed a major renovation that greatly enhances the experience for visiting patrons. The expansion consisted of an addition of a large 21st century archives wing, as well as additional storage and enhanced display areas within the museum.
Along with extensive bricks and mortar upgrades, Lennox & Addington County wanted to equip the Museum & Archives with up-to-date technology enhancements that visitors have come to expect when touring similar facilities. In 2014, an application to the Province of Ontario’s “Cultural Development Fund” was submitted. The Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Sport approved the $20,800 application to develop a promotional video and four interpretative iPad kiosks.
The interactive stations feature four videos which introduce the gallery themes: “Loyalist Exiles and the Comfortable Frontier”; “Confederation Era Entrepreneurs”; “The Horse and Buggy Era” and “A New Century and the Great War”. Drawing from archival photographs, the videos profile the historical context of the artifacts displayed. To further expand the meaning of the artifacts, the iPads highlight selected artifacts and detail their features, context and significance. The application is designed to be flexible, so that when exhibits change new images can be uploaded.
“We want the museum to be a vibrant location where people can come and learn about our history and celebrate it through wonderful displays, events and activities and programs,” says Stephen Paul, Director of Community and Development Services. “When the Ontario Government announced the Cultural Development Fund, we discussed possible projects that would complement our renovations. Building upon the E-History project developed under the Museums and Technology Project in 2010, we saw the need for interactive kiosks that could be viewed in the display areas.”
The kiosks aid in telling the unique story of Lennox & Addington County.
“It is important that artifacts be understood in their historical community context”, explained Jane Foster, Manager, Museum and Archives. “An artifact devoid of its social, economic or political context is just an object. But with context, the artifact then becomes a reflection of the people who lived and worked in a particular era.”
Three of the interactive stations have been installed in the display areas, while the fourth will be in place soon.
In addition to the kiosks, a promotional video was produced. Entitled, “From Jail to Museum”, the video highlights the growth of the museum from its establishment in 1976 from the old jail through to present day.
“It is the story of the growth of a vision,” said Foster. “Retrofitting a jail into a museum was an innovative and progressive project for County Council in the 1970’s. Growth in collections and changes in functions necessitated changes and with the support of County Council and the planning of the County Administration, we now enjoy a modern facility to continue the vital work of preserving the heritage of our County community.