Living inside the beltway is not a requirement for experiencing the rich collection of American culture available around the nation’s capitol. Yes, it’s true in the coming weeks that my travels to local museums and Government agencies would earn me a lot of metro travel rewards points-if they were offered-but I really want to showcase that you can create this same experience with a few click of the mouse.
Underneath the strictly informational façade of Government agency Web sites is a whole world of access to digital collections that contain some really fascinating artifacts. These national treasures presented below are greatly appreciated and made available by the staff and contract support of the U.S. National Park Service (NPS)-Museum Management Program and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
The American Presidents and First Ladies virtual museum exhibits highlight the life and times of four U.S. Presidents—Lincoln, Eisenhower, Roosevelt, and Truman—and their wives. Presidential house tours are brought to life with high-resolution images and zoom-and-pan functions. My favorite room to view is the formal dining room of President Eisenhower with its crystal chandelier, red upholstered high back chairs, and polished silver. It reminds me of the University of Pittsburgh’s 17-18 century Austrian nationality room where I had a semester of class. After clicking on a room located in the house a description of its purpose is provided, which completes the full house tour experience.