If you haven’t been to Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC in the last ten years, you’ve missed a major makeover. Not only are the chairs in the theater more comfortable, but it has dramatically updated its interpretation. An extensive interactive exhibit on Lincoln and the Civil War (including Booth’s gun!) now fills the basement. Across the street, the Petersen House (“the house where Lincoln died” and the federal government’s first historic house museum) has been joined with the adjacent office building to provide several floors of exhibits and programs. Now it’s in the midst of creating Remembering Lincoln, a new website that will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination by collecting, digitizing, and sharing local responses from the 13 months following his death. It won’t launch until 2015, but in the meantime they are sharing their progress and most importantly, their process on a blog.
It’s essential that you know the purpose and goals with any project, but even more so when there are more than a dozen institutional partners. You’ve got to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve to keep you focused—you don’t want people pulling in different directions. To keep their eyes on the road, Ford’s Theatre developed a “product definition document” for the Remembering Lincoln website which: Continue reading