HAI Collaborates with New State Museum to Tell the Story of Tennessee

Date: October 25, 2018
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

The new Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Capitol Mall in Nashville, TN.

The new Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Capitol Mall in Nashville has a rich story to tell. The permanent exhibits cover the history of Tennessee from First Peoples beginning around 13,000 BCE to the present. “This kind of multifaceted storytelling requires an enormous amount of assets, imagery, and imagination” noted Carly Swaim, VP of exhibits services at History Associates.

Leading design firm Gallagher & Associates designed the 49,000 square-foot exhibit space and engaged HAI to collaborate with Museum staff and provide exhibit content development support, including script writing, artifact label writing, historical research, image research and high-resolution image acquisition for the museum’s exhibits.

Because of the diverse subjects covered in the permanent exhibits, historians researched a wide range of sources from state and local libraries, university collections, media outlets, art galleries, historical societies, government agencies, national archives, and even private citizens. “The process for finding just the right picture or story can be complicated,” said Ms. Swaim. “Sometimes, you need quite a bit of detective work to find the original source.” The team drafted over 350 text panels and thousands of captions and labels to help tell the story of Tennessee up to the present day.

HAI worked in close collaboration with the designers from Gallagher & Associates and the Museum staff throughout the design process to ensure that historical content and selected images were accurate, worked within the desired design, and were suitable for use. As the exhibit design came together, the Museum identified the need for more than 500 images that were outside of its collection. Historians from HAI fanned out across the U.S. to acquire the assets needed, ultimately securing use rights from more than 80 sources in the U.S. and overseas.

The Museum is comprised of six permanent exhibitions, six temporary galleries, a Children’s Gallery, a Digital Learning Center, and more. The Museum’s centerpiece is the Tennessee Time Tunnel, an innovative overview of the state’s history told through a mix of artifacts, images and text panels. Visitors can enter the various exhibits from the tunnel if they want to delve deeper into specific time periods and topics.

The Museum previously occupied the lower floors of the Polk State Office Building. The new building opened on October 4, 2018, only two and a half years after its groundbreaking and three and half years since the Tennessee General Assembly appropriated funds to build it. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and admission is free. For more information, visit tnmuseum.org.

About HAI

For more than 35 years, HAI has helped clients to bring knowledge forward – use the past to inform the present and prepare for the future. The company’s historians and archivists research and write histories, create educational experiences, preserve and manage historical content, and conduct specialized historical research for corporations, government agencies, law firms, and nonprofit organizations worldwide.

For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or contact HAI today.

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