New exhibits planned for Alabama archives

The state Department of Archives and History is planning new exhibits expected to open this summer.

 The work constitutes Phase I of the department’s Museum of Alabama, which eventually will include five renovated galleries and an entirely new centerpiece exhibit, Alabama Voices.

Implementation of Phase I began on December 1, 2010 with the dismantling of Tattered Banners and Stilled Voices, Forgotten Ways exhibits. Prep work for the new exhibits includes painting, electrical improvements and security upgrades.

 The Land of Alabama exhibit will be installed in the gallery formerly occupied by Confederate flags. The new exhibit will include a multimedia introduction to the state’s varied physiography and the natural resources that have helped shape Alabama’s history.

The flag collection will continue to be displayed elsewhere in the museum, eventually becoming part of a consolidated Civil War exhibit.

The First Alabamians will tell the story of Native Americans from prehistory to 1700 through the use of artifacts, interactive maps, ten newly commissioned murals, and a large diorama model of a Mississippian village. By covering a shorter period of time than the previous Indian exhibit, the new design will accommodate a larger number of pieces from the Department’s collections, plus some artifacts on loan from other museums.

Funding for Phase I is provided by a 2007 state bond issue and private contributions. Fundraising for subsequent phases of the project is ongoing.

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