Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Designing interactive tours and audioguides for the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the oldest Holocaust museum of the nation.

picture of audioguide

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TEAM MEMBERS
  • Ashley Johnson
  • Grace Lee
  • Priscilla Perez
  • Lauren Pfeffer
  • Ana Nabizadeh
DELIVERABLES
  • Audioguide Tour
  • Focus Tour
TOOLS
  • Audible

01. OVERVIEW

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is the oldest museum in the nation, founded in 1978. The Museum’s audioguides won the 2011 gold MUSE award from the American Association of Museums.

I worked with LAMOTH in two separate instances, where I fulfilled the following tasks:

  1. I was working with UCLA Hillel’s Bearing Witness Program, where I interviewed two Holocaust survivors located in the LA area and use it to piece together an interactive audio tour that matched the layout of the museum
  2. I was a Getty Multicultural Education Intern, and my job included researching and creating a tour based on a specific collection in the museum, but which also connects to the greater history of the Holocaust using pieces in the museum.

02. INTERVIEW

I worked with a larger team to interview Holocaust survivors because unlike most of the audioguide tours, the one we were making featured two people: Pola Spitzer and Genia Bardach, who are sisters and survived together.

We met with them every other week to takes notes and compiled a narrative based on their eyewitness testimony.

image of Pola Spitzer's fake documentation from the Pola Spitzer Collection

03. MUSEUM

The museum layout is made in chronological order, where visitors enter the museum to look at artifacts that has to do with anti-semitism that preceded the Holocaust, and leave the museum with exhibits from the end of the war. There are nine sections in the museum, as seen in the following:

image of museum layout

Our task was to make sure the audiguide matched the layout and corresponded with the respective time period. For instance, the narrative was to be split into nine segments to match the nine sections, and each segment will match the theme of the particular section in the museum. We also had to do research about the Holocaust itself, using the artifacts in the museum, so that we can create a more comprehensive audioguide tour.

04. AUDIOGUIDE

After making sure that the chronological order of their story matched with the order of the museum, we assigned each person to narrate different sections of the audioguide tour and recorded it using Audible, before piecing it together into a single file. The transcript for the recording and the way the narrative was divided is included in the following document:

05. TOUR

The Focus Tour I made for the museum was a solo project. The tour itself was based on the Charles Millet/Karl Sinai collection, which contains documentation of Karl Sinai’s family when they were detained in the Shanghai Ghettos.

papers from the Charles Millet/Karl Sinai collection

For the tour, I did independent research on the collection itself, as well as the history of the Holocaust. Like with the audioguide tours I helped made, I based the structure of the tour on the museum layout. In this case, however, I also consulted with the museum archivist in order to understand the history behind the papers so that I could create a more effective tour. The transcript that I made, and then memorized to lead the tour, is in the following document:

06. WHAT I LEARNED

From creating these museum tours, I learned how to use historical artifacts to make the tours interactive rather than simply reading off the historical facts to the audience. When I was a tour guide, I also learned how to engage with my audience and make sure they are interested and involved in the tour while learning new things.

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