Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys launches BYU Virtual Tours
Salt Lake City: Ensign to the Nations has been released. This cross-media platform includes a hardcover book, a walking tour-guide, and an interactive DVD-ROM with over 5 hours of video documentaries covering more than 50 historic sites in Salt Lake City, Utah. The documentaries can also be seen regularly on BYU Television. Thanks to generous donors, a fully interactive website and blog are available for free at VirtualTours.byu.edu.
Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys features Brigham Young University Religious Education professors telling the story of unique sites that are of importance to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Some LDS sites are well known, such as the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York, or the majestic Salt Lake City Temple. Others may be lesser known, such as the baptismal site of Brigham Young, or the site of one of the first underground parking garages in America, which was built by Mormons.
On January 1st, a new blog was introduced. Each week a new Church History site is featured, complete with a documentary video, stories, and pictures based on the scholarly work of Brigham Young University Religious Education professors. The project also established a presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The online videos were downloaded more than 3500 times in the first week. There will be over 150 videos available for download over the coming months.
The next release will be New York, New England, Pennsylvania: Cradle of the Restoration. The blog will feature scheduled releases of chapters from the forthcoming book with full high-definition documentaries for each site.
Lloyd D. Newell, Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine, a project host and executive producer says, “Whether you're a multi-generation member of the Church, or you were baptized just last week, these are the sites that have helped make the Church’s legacy, and made us the members who we are today.”
Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine, John Livingstone, another project host and executive producer states, “We can show a vision to those who have never seen these places. We can deliver the spirit of the Restoration through modern technology.”
Craig Ostler, Professor of Church History and Doctrine, also one of the project hosts and executive producers, says, “This seems to be one of those projects that we’re required to do by using technology, to show the Lord that we're appreciative of the blessings that we've had with the technology that has been given to us.”
In addition to Livingstone, Ostler and Newell, other professors involved in the production are: Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine, Craig K. Manscill; Professor of Church History and Doctrine, Matthew O. Richardson; Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine, Kenneth L. Alford; Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture, David M. Whitchurch; and Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture, W. Jeffrey Marsh. BYU Broadcast Communications alumnus John P. Starrs serves as the media producer and director.
More than a dozen BYU students have received professional experiences and mentoring by working on BYU Virtual Tours. BYU’s Center for Teaching and Learning has generously provided technical design and support.
Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys has been called "One of the finest projects ever to come out of Religious Education at Brigham Young University," by Arnold K. Garr, former BYU Church History and Doctrine Department Chair.
More information can be found at VirtualTours.byu.edu.
Hallowed Ground Sacred Journeys is a co-production of Brigham Young University Religious Education and Starrs Universal.