An exhibition of epic proportions brings the age-old story of the Bible to life for a modern generation
Hollywood called it ‘the greatest story ever told’ in their portrayal of the New Testament — the Museum of the Bible goes further to tell the whole story in a museum of biblical proportions. Seven public floors covering 430,000 square feet display more than 1000 artifacts, including rare manuscripts and early printed Bibles. In the first six months since opening the museum attracted more than half a million visitors, many of them traveling hundreds of miles to view the experience. It’s not only attracting visitors who are religious; this museum is bringing in people of all ages and all beliefs through its sheer scale and impact.
While people may consider the Bible part of ancient history, technology plays a key role in demonstrating its impact on the modern world. On the second floor Electrosonic has created an extensive range of experiential exhibits that showcase the Bible’s impact on world culture and American history.
Powerful audio and engaging interactive displays tell important stories like the religious convictions of the Founding Fathers, President Lincoln’s second inaugural speech and the contribution of Martin Luther King. Music is prominent with the powerful voices of Gospel singers and the haunting ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’
The museum represents a technology investment on a massive scale. Interactive touchscreens, videos and 360o panoramic projections give visitors the opportunity to explore the Bible’s influence on film, music, literature, fashion and government around the world. Multimedia exhibits take visitors inside famous churches or recreate historical events like the burning of Bibles or religious persecution. With so much to experience visitors frequently need a helping hand. Digital handheld devices can be personalized allowing visitors to create a tour of their choice. They can even make recordings of the impact of the Bible on their lives. This is a true epic performance.
Creating a museum that’s literally of epic proportions was no easy task. During the construction phase, every other floor was removed to free space for massive soaring exhibits. Cable runs covered miles and the vast array of digital equipment required complex integrations and sophisticated control systems. But this was just a technical backdrop that the museum operators felt was essential to tell the story of the Bible to a digital generation. They wanted to create awareness of the impact of the Bible on modern life and that meant engaging people in an environment that was familiar.
Electrosonic’s contribution covered more than 40 exhibits designed to convey different aspects of ‘the Bible in the World’ and ‘the Bible in America’. The challenge was to select and design exhibits that would communicate aspects of the story in different ways through audio, video, interactives and projection. The solution had to be reliable given the number of visitors expected and it had to be easy to control and maintain. To add to the challenge the timescale for installation, programming and integration was just two years.
The scale of the exhibits and the advanced technology in use has added a WOW factor that wouldn’t necessarily be associated with the Bible.
"Our number one goal is to deploy technology that contributes to the message and the story without detracting from it. To me, it’s not about the museum technology. It’s about the story." - Bryan Abelowitz, Sales Director, Electrosonic.
Displays tell the story of the Bible in powerful ways that are easy to understand. Visitors can listen to sermons, great speeches and Gospel or search for facts and uncover stories through interactive displays or videos. They can even visit Jerusalem through a 360o time-lapse panorama of the city. The systems are integrated with visitors’ handheld digital guides so that they can interact on a personal level.
The museum has met the owners’ goal of sharing the story of the Bible with a digital generation. The scale of the exhibits and the advanced technology in use has added a WOW factor that wouldn’t necessarily be associated with the Bible. The museum’s impact and success can be measured by the huge number of visitors since its opening and its attraction to a diverse audience.