GLEN JEAN, W.Va. (WVVA) – You may have visited New River Gorge’s Canyon Rim Visitor Center and stopped to look at the artifacts protected behind glass, but you’ve never seen them like this before. !
This week New River Gorge National Park and Reserve launched its online artifact collection. This allows anyone, anywhere to see some five thousand artifacts relating to West Virginia’s history, from Native American arrowheads to a coal miner’s wallet and more.
Museum technician Jessica Lynch says this online collection has been her passion project as she strives to make the museum more inclusive and accessible. She also says this new resource is a game-changer because the park can only physically display a handful of items at a time.
“Our collections being online really allow people to see things that haven’t been seen before because they’ve just been kept inside,” she explained. “So it’s a really exciting way for people to see these physical objects that tell the story of West Virginia.”
“While we work very hard within the National Park Service to preserve these objects, it’s no good if the public can’t use them and can’t see that we care for them. .these [objects] are all ours collectively.
Lynch says the collection can be used for research, for exploration, or just for fun. Her favorite pieces are Native American artifacts, but she says there’s something for everyone.
Visit museum.nps.gov to see the collection for yourself. The park plans to continually update artifacts and even feature specialty items.
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