Have you ever wanted to get just a little more of the history associated with a structure or exhibit you've seen at Rentschler Farm Museum? Wished you could have been around when a Saline Area Historical Society expert was on site to tell the story? Thought it would be nice to share the experience here with others as a taste of the visit you'd like to see them make?
On-demand oral histories are now available 24/7 at numerous points throughout the Rentschler Farm Museum grounds. Anyone with a smartphone can scan custom QR Codes to see individually narrated videos recorded over the last year. All media is hosted on YouTube, easily shared and "Liked" across various social media channels.
QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are those black square patterns that you've probably seen in stores where you shop. Using an app installed on your Android or Apple device, point its camera at the unique grid printing and, in this case, a video will open on your smartphone.
It's as simple as that.
According to Agnes Dikeman of the Saline Area Historical Society, plans for this initiative have been in the works for several years. "We know that we have some people stopping by the farm during the times we are closed," she says. These videos can serve their interests at those times. Additionally, inside the main house, QR Code videos "help persons who are elderly or handicapped — persons who do not want to climb stairs."
All videos were produced by Samantha Malott, a marketing film-maker out of Detroit who volunteered her time to make this project happen. Ms Malot also created the discrete coding required for on-site visitor access to these resources, approximately a dozen in total.
Rentschler Farm Museum is open today from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm today. Its regular Saturdays schedule starts in May, with outbuilding accessibility and livestock in residence through September. After that, farmhouse tours continue during these times through the end of December — with period Christmas decorations that are not to be missed!
Thanks to the addition of QR Codes, however, "virtual docents" are perpetually available to educate visitors at all times.