On March 13, 2020, the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. temporarily closed in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. This included closing access to Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall, the National Geographic traveling exhibition produced in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute.
To continue engaging with their audiences and reach out to the wider public, the National Geographic Museum created a complete virtual tour of their production, a first for the organization.
“The story of Dr. Jane Goodall is a story of extraordinary scientific achievement and inspiration. One of Jane’s greatest reasons for hope is the indomitable human spirit. “Becoming Jane,” underscores her message of hope, compassion, and altruism. Our goal is to continue to share Dr. Goodall’s message with our community and with people around the world – at a time when we need it most,” says the National Geographic Museum.
The virtual exploration takes visitors on a very original tour of the exhibition from home. Designed to create a unique encounter with Dr. Jane Goodall—founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace—and her research, the tour takes visitors on a virtual journey to Gombe National Park in Tanzania.
Visitors discover the story of Jane Goodall, going through the key stages of her life with access to large parts of the exhibition content. Exhibition videos with a voiceover made by Jane herself, sharing her story, as well as holograms, pictures and audio, contribute to create a real encounter with Jane as a scientist, but also with her as a human being of her times.
Face to face with chimpanzees
The virtual tour also enables a unique encounter with chimpanzees, the great apes Jane spent her life studying and protecting, sharing her knowledge with the world to inspire conservation of their habitats and the natural world. Through original video set ups, visitors can join Jane as she recalls her time conducting field research in the forests of Gombe National Park, meet with individual animals and learn about their unique stories.
A dynamic visit
The virtual visit is designed to render a paced and interactive experience, alternating text and quotes with exhibition videos and voiceovers. Additional video links make it possible for visitors to delve deeper into key topics as they wish, with videos exploring exhibition interactives, digital maps, key topics and stories, as well as holographic videos bringing Jane’s field notebook to life.
A message of hope
“Jane Goodall’s story is one of perseverance, dedication, and determination. The exhibition showcases her life and legacy in a way that invites viewers from all around the world to reflect on the fragility of our world and on the role we can play, individually and collectively, to make the world a better place,” says the National Geographic Museum.