Orange County Regional History Center has received national and regional awards from the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and Southeastern Museum Conference (SEMC.) The History Center was recognized for its work related to the impact and legacy of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub, a documentary produced on the One Orlando Collection Initiative, two exhibitions, and a children’s publication.
Society for American Archivists Awards (SAA) – Distinguished Service Award
Orange County Regional History Center received SAA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2020 for its “outstanding service to its public” and “exemplary contribution to the archives profession” in its response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Within days of the shooting, the History Center mobilized to begin collecting materials from memorial sites, which became the foundation of its One Orlando Collection initiative. The History Center has since built relationships and support systems with cultural heritage professionals across the country who have experienced their own mass tragedies in cities including Las Vegas, Parkland, and Dallas. To view details of the SAA Awards, click here.
Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Gold Award – Exhibition
The Accidental Historian
Orange County Regional History Center received SEMC’s Gold Award for Exhibition in 2020 for The Accidental Historian, which was offered at the History Center from Sept. 21, 2019, through Jan. 19, 2020. The engaging exhibition recognized how pervasive the act of documenting the world has become and what has changed over the last century. Visitors were asked to reflect on how they see themselves as accidental historians and how the memes, viral cat videos, and carefully curated selfies of today will be used by historians of the future. The exhibition featured both historic and contemporary work and collections, including drawings by renowned artist and teacher Ralph Bagley and Urban Sketchers Orlando; poetry by Orlando’s inaugural poet laureate Susan Lilley; audiovisual work by food blogger Ricky Ly; and more. To view details of the award, click here.
Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Gold Award – Technology
Curating a Tragedy: Documenting the PULSE Nightclub Shooting
Orange County Regional History Center received SEMC’s Gold Award for Technology in 2020 for Curating a Tragedy: Documenting the PULSE Nightclub Shooting. Co-produced with Orange TV (Orange County’s 24-hour public information station), this documentary is the first in-depth look into the History Center’s collection of items from numerous temporary memorials, collection inside the nightclub, and recording of stories from people impacted by the tragedy. Intended for all audiences, including survivors and families of victims, the documentary contains interviews with History Center staff about the process of collecting, curating, and preserving the One Orlando Collection. It makes these activities, which normally happen behind the scenes, transparent to the public in a completely new way. To view details of the award, click here.
Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Silver Award – Technology
The Stories They Could Tell (view online exhibition here)
In addition to winning SEMC’s Gold Award for Technology in 2020 for Curating a Tragedy: Documenting the PULSE Nightclub Shooting, Orange County Regional History Center also won SEMC’s Silver Award for Technology for The Stories They Could Tell. This virtual exhibition highlights some of the artifacts that serve as physical representations of stories of struggle and loss, as well as triumph and hope on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Each of these journeys, in many ways so different, converge in the early morning hours of that fateful day. As time moves forward, the History Center will continue to remember these stories and honor those whose lives so significantly shaped them. To view details of the award, click here.
Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Honorable Mention – Publications
Time Travelers’ Gazette
SEMC also awarded an Honorable Mention for Publications to Time Travelers’ Gazette, an innovative new publication created to bring Central Florida’s history to life for children. Each issue is fully bilingual and freely distributed to all elementary schools and library systems in the tri-county region to ensure it reaches youth of all socio-economic backgrounds.