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The Lost Museum

Produced by the American Social History Project's Center for Media and Learning at the City University of New York (in collaboration with George Mason University), the Lost Museum brings a recreation of P.T. Barnum's famed American Museum to the Web. Opened by Barnum in 1841, the former American Museum remained a prime tourist attraction until its spectacular conflagration in 1865. As the site notes, "the Museum was the first institution to combine sensational entertainment and gaudy display with instruction and moral uplift." Visitors to the site can navigate the entire virtual museum in the Explore the Museum feature, and can further search a fine online archive of essays, images, and text documents. Within the archive page, visitors can also browse the exhibits of different "attractions," such as the Chang and Eng conjoined twins, Jenny Lind (the "Swedish Nightingale"), and a dozen others. Overall, the Lost Museum offers a wealth of material about the American Museum, and this particular moment in American cultural and social history.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date Issued
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Date of Scout Publication
November 22nd, 2002
Date Of Record Creation
April 8th, 2003 at 10:14am
Date Of Record Release
August 2nd, 2007 at 3:40pm
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