Locals will not have to travel to Orlando to honor the victims of last year’s shooting at Pulse Nightclub. The Orange County Regional History Center will open an exhibit June 12, one year after the event that claimed 49 lives at the Orlando LGBT club.
While Orlando residents can visit the week-long exhibit at their leisure, people from around the world can view the artifacts through an online digital gallery. The exact link for the gallery was not available by presstime but will be available via www.thehistorycenter.org upon opening.
The center collected more than 3,500 artifacts from memorials for preservation.
Museum Manager Mike Perkins said the digital galleries will be organized by the victim’s name, the date the artifact was collected, where the item was collected and other methods to narrow down searches.
“I think it’s going to be a really meaningful way for people who just can’t get to Orlando or perhaps don’t want to see items in person but in the privacy of their own home,” Perkins said. “[They] will be able to go to that [web]site and really get a good sense of the depth and breadth of the collection.”
Additionally, visitors to the website will have the opportunity to share stories about specific items. Perkins said individuals, after searching for an item they left, can share a story describing the artifact. They will then have an option to share it on the website for others to view or share it privately with the history center.
“The more personal stories that we can offer, the more we can make this event speak to somebody living 100 years from now,” Perkins said. “[It can] help them understand what it was like to live through this time and be impacted by this event, whether you lost somebody close to you or whether you just live in this community and it impacted you in whatever way it did. It will help people understand how the Pulse tragedy affected this community and shaped this community for years to come.”
Perkins noted the international implications of the incident prompted the history center to engage people from around the world.
“It impacted the entire nation and the entire world and I think we heard that from getting so many items from across the nation,” Perkins said. “I think it’s right for us to create the digital gallery so that people can see where their memorial items went, how Orlando responded and get a sense of the world’s responses as it related to Orlando. Showing these items in the digital gallery, in particular, will help the world understand what the response was.”