President Lincoln's Cottage Wins MUSE Award

President Lincoln
By Erin Carlson Mast

President Lincoln's Cottage Curator Mast with VideoArt's Huberman and Karell.President Lincoln’s Cottage won a Silver MUSE Award yesterday evening for its “Lincoln’s Toughest Decisions” interactive.   The award, given annually at the American Association of Museums (AAM) conference, recognizes outstanding achievement in museum media.

“Lincoln’s Toughest Decisions,” is an innovative interpretive program which puts visitors in the role of President Lincoln’s cabinet members.  The program can be run for groups or used by individual visitors and is located in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center adjacent to the Cottage.

Here is an excerpt of what the judges said about “Lincoln’s Toughest Decisions”:

This innovative interactive experience cleverly mixes human interaction within a group with individually-directed experiences that put visitors in the role of members of President Lincoln’s cabinet. Aimed predominantly at school groups, the judges were most impressed with the way the program underscores the importance of primary source documents for students.  Visitors use letters, documents and archival materials to help them decide how they, as a member of Lincoln’s Cabinet, should advise Lincoln during discussions about critical issues like the Emancipation Proclamation.  This installation is a commendable example of technology that is not for technology’s sake, but is instead used as an effective tool for encouraging personal experiences with history.

The judges’ full remarks and a complete description of the program are available on the MUSE Award website:

For information about bringing your school or group to experience Lincoln’s Toughest Decisions, please visit the Education page of our website:

Ms. Mast is Curator at President Lincoln’s Cottage. 
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