National Marine museum expands virtual experience

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The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation has added three galleries with accompanying docent lectures to the National Museum of the Marine Corps Virtual Experience. Launched in June 2010, Virtual Experience allows Marines and civilians from across the world to experience a cutting-edge web version of the real National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) located near Quantico, Va.

The additions to Virtual Experience, which include the Museum’s newest galleries opened to the public in June 2010, comprise the first expansion of the Museum’s online component. The galleries chronicle the founding of the United States Marine Corps in 1775, the Civil War and the U.S. Global Trade expansion in the 19th century and World War I. These new galleries comprise 12,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, and are filled with 250 artifacts, including early Marine Corps uniforms, weaponry and artillery. The first American armored car and the first known Marine Corps artifacts are also included.

The docent lectures that accompany each of the new galleries add richness and detail to the online visitor’s experience. For example, the World War I gallery includes background on the Marine Corps bulldog poster from the Battle of Belleau Wood featured in the exhibit. The World War I battle marks the first time the bulldog was used in advertising as a mascot for the Marines.

Through a series of high-definition, 360 degree panoramic tours, audio narratives and extensive multi-media presentations, visitors to the website experience the NMMC as if they’re actually there. Virtual Experience special features include:

· Oral history recordings
· Walking tour narratives available at the Museum
· Video interviews and personal recollections by Museum docents
· Custom video presentations created exclusively for the Museum
· Interactive 3-D models of aircraft and other large scale artifacts
· Zoomable HD photos of special exhibits

Unable to visit the Museum from his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., Marine Steven Wallace, who has since passed away, conceived of the NMMC Virtual Experience. With many Marines deployed around the world and the economy as uncertain as ever, Wallace wanted to ensure that all Marines had the opportunity to visit their Museum.

“The addition of the new galleries and docent lectures to Virtual Experience ensures that every Marine can see all that their Museum has to offer, even if they can’t visit the Museum in person,” said Lt. Gen. Robert R. Blackman, Jr., president and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. “We are pleased that Wallace’s vision makes it possible for us to bring the National Museum of the Marine Corps to Marines and civilians alike, from across the country and around the world.”

Virtual Experience was realized as a result of Wallace’s generous financial contribution. The Virginia-based eBusiness and technology consulting firm, Dynology Corporation, created the site.

Take a tour of the NMMC Virtual Experience by visiting



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