What if you could easily access artifacts of the past, learn from them, and allow them to influence the future?
The Grand Rapids Public museum has been collecting artifacts for over 155 years having the second largest collection of artifacts in the state of Michigan at a count of almost a quarter of a million and continually growing. Unfortunately it is impossible for the museum to have all of these objects on exhibit, in fact at any given time there are only 5-10% of them on exhibit.
How do we bring 250,000 artifacts to the world?
This fall we are beginning a project by professionally photographing 500 of these artifacts. These images will then be posted on a new website that will be linked to the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Visitors to the website will eventually be encouraged to attach their own oral and written histories to the artifact, giving them a more complete and in-depth story.
What is the benefit of having the artifacts available at our fingertips?
Having these artifacts so easily accessible helps them to become a useful resource for teachers, artists, researchers, and designers. It also allows people who are physically unable, whether it be by distance or mobility, to access the artifacts.
Why should we care about these artifacts?
These artifacts preserve the histories of the places we come from and the people that came before us. They tell the stories of our cultures and our advancements in technologies. If we let them, these artifacts can influence us as people, artists, designers, teachers, scientists, and musicians.
What will be done with the funds from Kickstarter?
Currently the museum does not have a photo department, so when objects come in the curators photograph the objects then they are logged into a database along with the low resolution photos for documentation and placed into storage for protection.
At the end of our project a print-on-demand book will be available for purchase. This book will contain images of some of the 500 artifacts that we are photographing, along with stories from our blog. Anyone who has kindly donated will be able to purchase the book at cost.