The Naval Academy Museum is expanding their audio tour to include foreign languages to reach international visitors. Visitors can now learn about 30 different museum artifacts in Spanish as well as English.
The Naval Academy Languages and Cultures Department is working with the museum to produce two-minute audio recorded descriptions of the 30 artifacts and hope to expand that offering by next spring to include Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Mandarin – all of which are taught at the Naval Academy.
Midshipmen in Professor Robert Stone’s Spanish course translated and recorded two-minute descriptions for museum artifacts using the Naval Academy’s Multimedia Support Center. The artifacts were selected from the popular Naval Academy-produced series “A History of the Navy in 100 Objects” (www.usna.edu/100Objects).
The Naval Academy’s Information Technology Services Division installed quick response (QR) barcodes along with each artifact’s display. Embedded in the barcodes are the midshipmen’s audio recording and museum visitors will be able to hear the audio by scanning the barcode with their smartphone.
According to Museum Director Claude Berube, “The use of QR Codes and widely available smartphones means that we avoid the acquisition and maintenance costs associated with headphones or wands used by other museums.”
The museum receives more than 125,000 national and international visitors per year. Visitors will be given a map of the museum with the instructions on the tour and locations of the 30 artifacts. The displays combine historical artifacts with video and audio technology to bring to life the stories of the men and women who have served their country at sea.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the Naval Academy Museum, please visit http://www.usna.edu/Museum/.