VERV Multimedia App

President Lincoln’s Cottage
National Trust for Historic Preservation

From the beginning, the Lincoln Cottage team had a vision that the site should be a “Museum of Ideas” and our innovative smart technology solution helped the house where Abraham Lincoln lived for a quarter of his presidency come alive.

We helped them succeed — and the Visitor Education Re‐Vision (VERV) won a Gold MUSE award from the American Alliance of Museums.

Tour guides use the VERV to help create a multi‐sensory experience for visitors and curate Cottage tours by tailoring to the needs and interests of each group in real time. Media features — such as crisp, high‐quality visuals, maps expertly animated by Dave Taschler, audio recordings of never‐before‐told stories, and a dramatic light presentation on wartime Washington — create an evocative, sensory experience for visitors.

Once inside a room, guides use the VERV app on their handheld tablet to wirelessly select from a list of media resources, narrative themes, specific tour content based on the education level and supporting documents. If they select a video, when a “chapter” comes to the end, the image holds on-screen, as the system waits for the guide’s next choice.

VideoArt was a team player with Cottage leadership throughout, from auditioning and selecting narration actors, to supervising map animation, to selecting and editing photos. Since the historic site does not allow permanent installations, our solution was to have all media either project on to the floor or play on wheeled monitors, like the one next to the desk where President Lincoln composed the Emancipation Proclamation.

The director of Lincoln Cottage writes,"VERV has enabled the Cottage to serve as a living breathing house where as one visitor stated 'it feels as if we entered a room President Lincoln just left.’"