Museum News

National Museum of African American History and Culture Launches Two New Apps

May 9, 2013

Even though the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American
History and Culture, is currently under construction, its building and content can be explored in the
palm of a hand. The museum has unveiled two free mobile apps, “View NMAAHC” and “Changing
America: To Be Free,” that allow the public to virtually experience the museum before its opening in

To show what the museum will look like when construction is completed, the “View
NMAAHC” augmented-reality app will give the public a peek into the future. Users who are visiting
Washington, D.C., can view a three-dimensional architectural model of the building at the museum’s
construction site. Other immersive experiences, available to all users regardless of their location,
include a 360-degree view of the museum’s site and an architectural fly through of the museum’s

For those curious about how individuals across the nation reacted to the Emancipation
Proclamation, the “Changing America: To Be Free” app commemorates the 150th anniversary of the
Emancipation Proclamation by providing personal accounts of those who were affected by President
Abraham Lincoln’s executive order. Offering an opportunity to go beyond well-known stories of
Emancipation, users can search, sort and read personal stories from across the North, South and border
states from men and women of all ages. The app is a digital component of the museum’s current
exhibition, “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and The March on
Washington, 1963,” on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History until Sept. 7,

“View NMAAHC” is currently available for iPhone, iPad and Android. “Changing America:
To Be Free” is available for the iPad and will soon be available for iPhone and Android.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established by an Act of
Congress in 2003 making it the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Scheduled for completion
in 2015, it is under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on a five-acre tract
adjacent to the Washington Monument. Currently, the museum is hosting public programs, assembling
collections and presenting exhibitions at other museums across the country and at its own gallery at
the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. More information can be found on the
museum’s website

Media Contact(s): 

Fleur Paysour (202) 633-4761; 
Lindsey Koren (202) 633-4052; 

application/pdf Press Release (125.33 KB)

Join Our Media List

Help us keep you informed of Museum news, special events, and upcoming public programs. 


Sign Up

Press Kit

Our press kit includes facts and descriptions of our building, inaugural exhibitions, collection, history, and leadership.


Download Kit

About The Museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all.