American Southwest Virtual Museum

The American Southwest Virtual Museum is a collaborative project involving Northern Arizona University, the National Park Service, and the Museum of Northern Arizona.  Built around the concept of "Parks as Classrooms," the project offers internet-based explorations of artifacts associated with individual units of the National Park system.  The Virtual Museum website offers detailed, high-resolution photographs of artifacts contained in exhibits cases in the parks' visitor centers as well as information about displayed artifacts.  Individual artifacts are linked to text and videos that explain the circumstances of an artifact's discovery, its scientific importance, and its cultural meaning to contemporary Native Americans. In addition, the website features virtual tours of exhibits, visitor trails, and other features, using high-resolution panoramic photographs. Visitors can move digitally through the physical space of artifact exhibits, clicking on various “hot spots” embedded in the photos to open individual exhibit cases and view detailed color photos of artifacts. Hot spots also open links to high-resolution pdf versions of the exhibit panels and photographs featured on display in an NPS visitor center.  Video presentations, keyed to points along the trail or to particular museum exhibits, feature commentary by archaeologists and Native Americans.