National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Joins the Google Cultural Institute

As part of 75th anniversary celebration, Museum introduces visitors to the history of America’s greatest pastime through Cultural platform

June 13, 2014
Hall of Famers Cal Ripken and Phil Niekro interact with students during the Google Cultural Institute launch event. (Milo Stewart, Jr./NBHOF)

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) Just in time for its 75th anniversary celebration this week, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is connecting with the Google Cultural Institute to make highlighted exhibits and an interior interactive view of the Museum accessible to baseball lovers worldwide. The Hall of Fame's Cultural Institute presence consists of two digital exhibits and indoor Street View imagery. 

The first exhibit, Picturing America’s Pastime, is a rich series of photographs depicting baseball in the late 1800’s to present day with photos spanning generations, from pioneering photographer Charles M. Conlon to present-day sports shooter Brad Mangin. Picturing America’s Pastime captures the grandeur of the early game to the vibrancy of today’s sport through images in sepia, color and black-and-white. 

The second exhibit, Osvaldo Salas’ American Baseball Photographs, celebrates the influx of African-American and Latin players into the sport through the internationally-acclaimed photojournalist’s images from the early integration era. Photographs in the exhibit include Latin American heroes and Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio and Roberto Clemente as well as African-American stars like Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Larry Doby photographed against the backdrop of the three big league team stadiums of the time in New York— the Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees. 

A specially designed Street View ‘trolley’ visited the Hall of Fame to capture 360 degree images of the interior of selected galleries to display on Google Maps. The imagery is stitched together allowing visitors to virtually walk the halls and galleries to view the content just as it is displayed within the Hall of Fame. 

“Google aims to highlight a wide breadth of art, history, and culture through the Cultural Institute,” said Jeff Austin, Strategic Partner Development Manager for Google. “This collection tells an important story of American history and culture and we are thrilled to bring it to baseball fans worldwide.” 

“The Museum’s connection with Google Cultural Institute opens the door for global audiences to celebrate baseball’s rich history,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “As part of our 75th anniversary celebration, this marks an important first step in building audiences beyond Cooperstown with Google Cultural Institute, by making accessible these selected photo exhibitions and Indoor Street View. We believe there’s great opportunity in future digitization and virtual accessibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame.” 

New York State, through the I Love New York campaign, has collaborated with the Baseball Hall of Fame to market the State’s unique attractions and promote travel to Cooperstown and the Central NY region. 

“New York State is proud to be home to top cultural institutions, like the Baseball Hall of Fame, and it is critical that in today’s increasingly mobile world, we find ways to connect to visitors near and far,” said Empire State Development Executive Director of Tourism Gavin Landry. “This innovative partnership between the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Google Cultural Institute allows baseball fans worldwide to virtually share in the memorable experience of visiting this iconic treasure. We congratulate the Museum on their 75th anniversary milestone and Google on this unique collaboration that will help us promote New York’s unique attractions and drive tourism.” 

About the Google Cultural Institute

The Google Cultural Institute is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community to bring their cultural treasures, archives, heritage sites and other material online. The aim is to increase the range and volume of material from the cultural world that is available for people to explore online and in doing so, democratize access to it and preserve it for future generations. 

About the Baseball Hall of Fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an independent not-for-profit educational institution, dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime. Opening its doors for the first time on June 12, 1939, the Hall of Fame has stood as the definitive repository of the game’s treasures and as a symbol of the most profound individual honor bestowed on an athlete. It is every fan’s "Field of Dreams," with its stories, legends and magic shared from generation to generation. For more information, visit baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200. 

About New York State

New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it’s wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information, visit http://www.iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at www.iloveny.com/thebeat.