RICHMOND, Va., April 24, 2020
While people are social distancing and staying at home, Virginia residents and history lovers can easily access 400 years of Virginia history through the Virginia History Trails mobile application.
Curated by the Library of Virginia and Virginia Humanities, the Virginia History Trails app contains more than 400 stories and more than 200 historic places. While travelers are unable to experience many of these Virginia sites in person, the Virginia History Trails app offers access to hundreds of stories chronicling Virginia’s well-known, under-told and unknown history.
When travelers are able to visit these Virginia sites in person, the Virginia History Trails app’s intuitive interface allows users to create their own profiles and “check in” at sites or share updates using the hashtag #VAHistoryTrails to earn badges. Users can immerse themselves in a themed trail that winds across the Commonwealth or employ the app’s GPS feature to find nearby historical sites and immediately transform their surroundings into a live history experience.
The Virginia History Trails app, now overseen by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, was first released in May 2018 as a legacy project of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution™, allowing travelers, history lovers, families and more to engage in inclusive and authentic historical narratives throughout 400 years of Virginia’s history. Since its launch, the app has won the Gold Award for Best New Mobile App of August 2018 from the Best Mobile App Awards and the Excellence in Immersive Experience award from the Media Excellence Awards in 2019.
“The Virginia History Trails app is a necessary digital storytelling tool for sharing Virginia’s history accurately and inclusively,” said Kathy Spangler, Executive Director of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution™. “This app provides easy access to Virginia’s rich history for all to enjoy.”
“The 2019 Commemoration’s Virginia History Trails app demonstrates how technology can enhance engagement with important historical knowledge and information,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “Virginia’s history is America’s history and the app is one of the ways to engage with Virginia history during this time and for years to come.”
About 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution™2019 Commemoration, American Evolution™, a sub-agency of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, highlighted historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today. In 2016-2019, American Evolution commemorated the ongoing journey toward the key ideals of democracy, diversity and opportunity through a series of programs, events and legacy projects that positioned Virginia as a leader in education, tourism and economic development, which generated $197 million in total economic impact for the Commonwealth.
About Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. In 2018, visitors to Virginia spent $26 billion, which supported 235,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes.