A quick search for online exhibitions and videos brought me to the National WWI Museum and Memorial website. Several of their online exhibitions contain a variety of media. I focused on the “Home Before the Leaves Fall” exhibit. This exhibit explores the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the July Crisis and the opening months of the Great War. The images, video, and audio are powered by Google Culture Institute.
There are multiple ways to view the images and video. The exhibit moves from left to right on a continuous stream. The viewer can either move a box at the bottom of the screen or by clicking an arrow on either side of the screen to move to the next images. If you click on any boxes containing images or text, the image is expanded. Within this new window you are able to read a description of the image. Also in this new window you are able to hit a “play” button so the exhibit will automatically run through the exhibit. The best part of this feature is that the view is able to adjust how many seconds are spent on each image. The videos automatically play when they popup.
The videos are quite interesting and add another dimension to the exhibit. However, there is very little information about what the videos are and how they fit in the overall narrative of the exhibit. The first of two videos in the exhibit has no sound and description says only “Vintage footage of Kaiser Wilhelm II and a review of German infantry and calvary.” The video shows Kaiser Wilhelm flanked by a tiny, tail-wagging dog for a few seconds before cutting to marching soldiers. There is no metadata to tell me anything else about the footage. The second video is actually just audio for a song and the description only gives you the name of the song.
Overall, the use of video seems to be quite poorly done. It almost seems as though the museum just happened to have this footage and wanted to use it in some way but did not have a lot of information about it. The footage of Kaiser Wilhelm II is interesting in the fact that I am pretty sure I have never seen video of Kaiser Wilhelm II before, but I did not necessarily gain anything from viewing it or by reading the description. The one cool thing about this is exhibit is that since it is powered by Google Culture Institute, viewers are able to save the images and video to their own “galleries” to view later and to curate their own exhibits.