Yesterday, Google lifted the curtains on several of new online historical exhibitions to let users read, see, and learn more about the bygone era within the comforts of their home. 

In an official statement, Google shares the stories, which you can begin viewing here. These stories have been assembled by 17 partners, including museums and cultural foundations. These partners have used their resources comprising their archives of letters, manuscripts, first-hand video testimonials and much more. What’s interesting is that some of the content that is up for viewing now is on the Internet for the first time. 

Anne Frank

The hidden staircase in Anne Frank House

Each showcase has a narrative, which tags alongside the archive material to offer varying perspectives, nuances, and tales behind these events. 

  • “Tragic love at Auschwitz – the story of Edek & Mala, a couple in love who try to escape Auschwitz
  • Jan Karski, Humanity’s hero – first-hand video testimony from the man who attempted to inform the world about the existence of the Holocaust
  • Faith in the Human Spirit is not Lost – tracing the history of Yad Vashem’s efforts to honor courageous individuals who attempted to rescue Jews during the Holocaust
  • Steve Biko – a 15-year-old’s political awakening in the midst of the Apartheid movement featuring nine documents never released in the public domain before
  • D-Day – details of the famous landings including color photographs, personal letters and the D-Day order itself from Admiral Ramsay
  • The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – an account of the 1953 Coronation including color photographs
  • Years of the Dolce Vita – a look at the era of the “good life” in Italy including the fashion, food, cars and culture.”

The showcase also gives user the ability to zoom in to see photos in greater detail, and search through millions of items for a specific country, person, event, or date. 

Recently, Google teamed up with The Israel Museum to make the Dead Sea Scrolls accessible with the Dead Sea Scrolls Online project. Anyone in the world can view, read, and interact with the ancient text. The photographs taken are up to 1200 megapixels in resolution, and the camera has exposed the scrolls to light for 1/4,000th of a second. The high resolution helps you see very minute details. For instance, when you zoom into the Temple Scroll, you can see detail on the animal skin that the scrolls are written on, which is a tenth of a millimetre thick. You can even instantly translate the Hebrew text into English, and leave comments on the text for others to see. You can even share your favourite verses on Twitter and Facebook.

The Dead Sea scrolls, which were written between the third and first centuries BCE had been hidden since 68 BCE in caves in the Judean desert on the shore of the Dead Sea. They are the oldest known biblical texts in existence, and were hidden to protect them from oncoming Roman army attacks. They were only rediscovered in 1947 and have been on exhibit since 1967 at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. What's written in the Dead Sea Scrolls are stories of life and religion in ancient Jerusalem, including the birth of Christianity.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,