Austin's Bullock Museum makes its history collections fully available in Spanish
The Bullock Museum completed a five-year project in December to make all 16,000 years of Texas history encapsulated within its walls available to visitors in both English and Spanish.
What began with the bilingual exhibition “Becoming Texas” in 2018 led to three complete floors of bilingual historical exhibitions, along with print and digital guides now available in both languages.
"Since our founding by the Texas Legislature, the Museum's mandate has been focused on the educational benefits of making the story of Texas as accessible as possible," said Margaret Koch, director of the Bullock Museum. "Creating bilingual experiences has been a key element in strengthening and respecting the positive and thoughtful interactions our Spanish-speaking visitors are able to have with their families during their visits."
The Austin museum embarked on a comprehensive refresh of each individual gallery. It partnered with professional translators to ensure its exhibits “fully portray the story of Texas that the Museum aims to tell” to Spanish and English speakers alike.
To make exhibits more relatable to a broader audience, historical narratives were reevaluated to incorporate more diverse perspectives.
Aiming for more of this inclusivity, the museum is now collaborating with other institutions to make exhibits on loan bilingual for visitors in Texas. A prime example is the "Sharks" exhibit, initially in English but made bilingual for the Bullock at its request by the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
“Sharks” will continue on after its exhibit at Bullock in a bilingual presentation.
Angie Glasker, curator at the Bullock, said all future exhibitions will also be available in English and Spanish as the museum continues to set new standards.
"With every new artifact put on display, new text will need to be translated, allowing us to refine and adapt the translation process and our standards. The words we use, the language they are written in, and the way we present them matters.”
The project was completed with the finalization of the Reconstruction gallery on the Museum’s second floor in December.
Visitors can find more information about the newly translated Texas History Galleries at thestoryoftexas.com.
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