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3D exhibit created by CCU students and faculty receives national award

May 28, 2020
Coastal Carolina University and the Horry County Museum are the recipients of the History in Progress (HIP) Award and Award of Excellence for “Printing the Past: SC in 3D” from the American AssociCoastal Carolina University and the Horry County Museum are the recipients of the History in Progress (HIP) Award and Award of Excellence for “Printing the Past: SC in 3D” from the American AssociCoastal Carolina University and the Horry County Museum are the recipients of the History in Progress (HIP) Award and Award of Excellence for “Printing the Past: SC in 3D” from the American Associ

Coastal Carolina University and the Horry County Museum are the recipients of the History in Progress (HIP) Award and Award of Excellence for “Printing the Past: SC in 3D” from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 75th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. Carolyn Dillian, professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology and Geography at CCU, and Katie Stringer Clary, assistant professor of public history at CCU, co-directed the project.

The HIP Award, given at the discretion of the committee, is an additional award for an Award of Excellence winner whose nomination is highly inspirational, exhibits exceptional scholarship, and/or is exceedingly entrepreneurial in terms of funding, partnerships, collaborations, creative problem solving, or unusual project design and inclusiveness. Only 5 percent or fewer of the total number of Award of Excellence winners can be given the HIP Award.

“Printing the Past: S.C. in 3D” is a sensory-friendly, hands-on exhibit on display at the Horry County Museum. This exhibit encourages participants to touch, examine, feel, and explore artifacts from Horry County, S.C., that have been digitally scanned and 3D printed. This tactile exhibit aids those with visual or sensory differences specifically, but is also engaging for all museum audiences who learn and explore through touch.

During the Spring 2019 semester, 40 CCU students researched, scanned, and printed artifacts from the Horry County Museum’s collections. Interpretive text, written by students, was presented in Braille and audio, as well as in printed text. The exhibit benefited from a continuing partnership between CCU and the Horry County Museum, as well as input from community stakeholders, including the S.C. Commission for the Blind and SOS Health Care. The project received support from a public outreach grant from the Southeastern Archaeological Conference and a mini grant from South Carolina Humanities.

“For me, having the work of our students recognized by the top organization for public history in local communities is incredible,” Clary said. “I served as the AASLH Awards regional representative for Region 7, so I know the quality of projects that are received each year. I’m thrilled.” This year, AASLH conferred 57 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history from across the nation.

The two project co-directors are planning a new project on local history in the coming year with a new exhibit that will be a collaboration between CCU students and faculty, the Horry County Museum, and the Waccamaw Indian People.

“The students who worked on ‘Printing the Past’ were absolutely amazing, and we’re excited to partner with the Horry County Museum again on our next undertaking,” Dillian said. The new exhibit will be constructed in Spring 2021.

The AASLH Awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203 or go to aaslh.org.

The AASLH is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all people. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, and a quarterly magazine, and maintains numerous affinity communities and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors an annual meeting, regional and national training in-person workshops, and online training.

The Horry County Museum is at 805 Main St., Conway, and is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Visit horrycountymuseum.org. For more about the exhibit and the overall project, visit printingthepastscin3d.com.