MagicBox Offers New Way to Look at History

It only looks like science fiction, but MagicBox is here for you to experience at the Library Center.














MagicBox is an innovative display cabinet that combines the physical and the digital, giving you an intriguing way to see original and animated content in the same space! Print publications are usually limited to a look-only display spread. MagicBox allows us to combine physical objects with video or interactive 3-D renderings so visitors can study it, manipulate it and experience it more fully with their fingertips using a touch-screen in the front glass of the display case.

The magic: The screen is transparent, making it possible to superimpose digital images, videos and 3-D renderings on the exhibited object while keeping the same object visible. MagicBox is used by a variety of museums, libraries and companies around the world because it turns exhibits and archives into memorable experiences.

The Library’s MagicBox was made possible with a gift to The Library Foundation from David H. Jones.

Mr. Jones, a Springfield attorney, said his love for history dates to childhood, when he spent after-school hours at the Pierce City Library because his house had no heat. He read “almost everything in that library, then I started reading history stuff.” He soon discovered American Civil War books, and his history-buff father began taking him to area battlefields. “I started collected anything Civil War.” He said it thrills him to watch people stroll by and then stop in their tracks when they see the MagicBox, knowing it may ignite their interest in history, too.

When the WWI exhibit closes, the MagicBox will be moved to the entrance of Local History. The next exhibit will center on the Civil War and feature letters from the John A. Mack Collection. These original letters were loaned to Local History for digitization by Mr. Jones and are included in the Community & Conflict project.

Mr. Jones is pictured at the Library Center with Local History Department Manager Brian Grubbs, Library Executive Director Regina Greer Cooper and Development Director Melissa Adler.

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