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US Holocaust Memorial Museum - Website Analysis

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Analyzes the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Web site for effectiveness, organization and historical content. ... More...
6 Pages / 1350 Words
6 sources, 7 Citations, MLA Format

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Web Site Analysis US Holocaust Memorial Museum Introduction The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is located on the Mall inWashington DC where it was opened in Since that time more than million visitors have been to the museum from around the world Today themuseum focuses not only on its physical presence but on its virtual one as well and goes so far as to position its Web site as the world\'sleading online authority on the Holocaust with more than millionvisitors in On

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Thispage, and the pages that are navigated from this page, emphasize recenthistory subsequent to the Holocaust and, moreover, current events ("WhatIs?" n.p.): [pic] The "What Is Genocide" section includes an 11-page chronology ofgenocide since the 194 s, including pages on genocide in the formerYugoslavia, Rwanda and Sudan. The site providesoutreach and historical context for the study and interpretation of theHolocaust, and the museum is a repository for numerous art and artifactitems. The museum was created by anAct of Congress in 198 , and engages in outreach activities as well aseducation and public events such as Holocaust Days of Remembrance. The museum also takes a position as being a source of informationregarding contemporary genocide, and ways to prevent and mitigate it. Eyewitness interviews are also provided in the Genocidesection of the site. Retrieved 8 Mar 2 1 : .An Overview of the Holocaust. Historical Perspectives The historical information available on the site is both broad anddeep. Holocaust Encyclopedia. The site emphasizes education, research and history, with a "Library"link under the Research tab. Web Site Analysis: US Holocaust Memorial Museum Introduction The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is located on the Mall inWashington, DC, where it was opened in 1993. This is an especially important section of the site as itprovides the "personal" side to the genocide that is sometimes overlookedin the statistics and analysis. Clicking on this link brings up a search boxwith links to Frequently Asked Questions, Ask a Question, and Using theLibrary links. To get to the mission statement, forexample, from the home page, the user clicks on the "Museum" pull-downmenu, then "About the Museum" and then on the "Mission Statement" link.The user can also scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on the"About the Museum" link and then on the "Mission Statement" link, which isstill more cumbersome than one would associate with a site such as this. The page itself features a prominent definition ofgenocide in the left and middle, and links to news on the right side. The home page itself would be more effective if it included themuseum's mission prominently displayed. The site is also used by the Museum to facilitate access to art andartifacts, including items from just before, during and subsequent to theHolocaust. There is no overview about the library that indicates thetypes of holdings or how it is organized, and repeated attempts to reachthe "Using the Library" link with several different browsers yielded thesame, "Page Cannot Be Found" broken link page. Conclusion The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is an extensive site thatcatalogs the collection and work of the museum itself. Retrieved 8 Mar 2 1 : .Holocaust deniers and public misinformation. The Holocaust Encyclopedia, also included on the site, providesarticles on a variety of subjects with hyperlinks to other articles andsources within the USHMM site. Whenthe user clicks on "What Is Genocide" link from the "Genocide" pull-down,an entirely new portal is opened that shifts away from the Holocaust focusand which appears to have a different designer. The encyclopedia is available in a varietyof languages, and covers a broad range of topics, including topics thatfocus on non-Jewish victims. (n.d.). Purpose of the Site The site serves a multitude of purposes, and does so with varyingeffectiveness. This is a comprehensive part of the site thatincludes a "Topics to Teach" section which, in turn, lays out links andarticles providing what the site's authors consider to be the essentialfoundation for students in order to place the Holocaust in historicalcontext ("An Overview," 2 9). In addition, the site and museum are positioned to take a proactivestance against modern genocide, and to provide understanding about thecauses and consequences of genocide. Washington, DC: USHMM. Theorganization's Web site is a cornerstone of its activities ("Mission,"n.d.). Additionaldetail on modern genocides would be useful on this section in order toprovide the same level of rigor that is evident through the HolocaustEncyclopedia. While the site is not easily navigable on thefirst few visits, the depth of information that is included, from primarysources to secondary sources, and the wide variety of media and topics thatare represented makes this a comprehensive site that is an excellentstarting point for anyone who is serious about learning about the Holocaustor studying it in a scholarly fashion. (n.d.). Gallery, Take Action and The Installation" acrossthe top of the page. Today, themuseum focuses not only on its physical presence, but on its virtual one,as well, and goes so far as to position its Web site as the "world'sleading online authority on the Holocaust" with more than 25 millionvisitors in 2 8. Holocaust Encyclopedia.Mission statement. The genocide section of the site is designed better, and is easier tonavigate, but lacks the substance of the Holocaust pages. These are not in-depth examinations of theseevents, but rather overviews that quickly state the situation and theworld's response. Retrieved 8 Mar 2 1 : . (n.d.). The inclusion ofHolocaust denial on the site increases its effectiveness and also providescontemporary historical context for how events have been interpreted andmisinterpreted as decades have gone by since the original events("Holocaust Deniers," 2 9). The site also includes information on Holocaust denial, primarilythrough the Holocaust Encyclopedia. Who is at Risk? The way that the home page is laidout, it assumes that visitors are familiar with the site and the museum,which while accurate for those who use it as a portal for research,discounts the many first-time visitors who happen on the site as a resultof an Internet search or as they begin to learn about the Holocaust.Including a prominent statement about the Holocaust itself rather than anordinary link to "Introduction to the Holocaust" that is nearly lost in thevery busy home page would be helpful. The site states that Holocaust denialis a form of anti-Semitism whose supporters claim that the Holocaust is ahoax perpetrated on the people of the world by Jews seeking to establishIsrael as their homeland, and by Allies who needed horrific war crimes tojustify the trials and sentences rendered at Nuremburg. The site could be better designed toease navigation and convey its ReferencesAbout the museum. The look and feel isdifferent, with the tag line "Preventing Genocide: Learn More & TakeAction" following the organization's name, and pull-downs for "What IsGenocide? Washington, DC: USHMM. This section also invites donations of art and artifacts toenhance the Museum's 1 , + current collection. Effectiveness of the Site There is a vast amount of information available at the museum itselfas well as on the Web site. The site presents the museum'smission and objectives well, although navigating to this information can bedifficult and is not intuitive. (n.d.). Retrieved 8 Mar 2 1 : .United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. By collecting andcurating these artifacts, the Museum serves a valuable historical functionthat would otherwise be lost, particularly as the population of thosedirectly involved with the Holocaust ages ("Art and Artifacts," n.d.). (2 9, May 4). Washington, DC: USHMM. This is apparent in the waythat the home page is organized, with Flash announcements at the top of thepage, links to the "Holocaust History" on the left side, news stories inthe middle, and current/upcoming events on the right, as shown below("United States," n.d.): [pic] The left side of the page also features educational links forstudents, teachers and university students/scholars in addition to links tomore rigorous research sites-such as the Center for Advanced HolocaustStudies-and Remembrance site links. Throughout the site, it would be helpful to have "lastupdated" identification; only the encyclopedia pages regularly note whenthey were last updated. Site Overview / Organization Visitors to the museum's site are greeted with a home page that has alot of information, and which assumes the visitors have knowledge bothabout the Holocaust itself and the museum. Tabbed links at the top of the pagedisplay drop-down menus for "Museum, Education, Research, History,Remembrance, Genocide, Support". A similar Genocide Encyclopedia, while an ambitiousundertaking would be useful, particularly when supported by the resourcesof the USHMM. Washington, DC: USHMM. The museum's mission is to both serve as a memorial to the millions ofEuropean Jews and others who were killed during the Holocaust, and alsodocument, study and interpret Holocaust history. Washington, DC: USHMM. It is not always clear when therecordings were made, but names and locations of the contributors areincluded. The museum's use of technology as anoutreach and educational tool is evident in the museum's links to Twitter,iTunes, YouTube, Facebook and e-mail updates, also included at the bottomof the left side of the home page. Since that time, more than 3 million visitors have been to the museum from around the world. As genocide continues tobe an issue in countries around the world even in the twenty-first century,the museum also focuses on examining the roots of genocide and ways that itcan be prevented and mitigated in the future. (2 9, May 4). First and foremost, it is the site that promotes andsupports the museum and its work; beyond that, the site seeks to educateand inform about the Holocaust itself. Retrieved 8 Mar 2 1 : .Art and artifacts. Personal histories across a variety of topics, including liberation,camps, ghettos and hiding are included on the site, with videos of personalinterviews as well as written quotes. On any given day, visitors to the Web site are from morethan 1 different countries ("About," n.d.).

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