NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - Nashville Sites announces the launch of its new online walking tour platform. Their website offers more than twenty walking tours that highlight historically and culturally significant sites. Each tour has a distinct theme such as Downtown Public Art & Murals, Family Fun, and Music Row. Nashville Sites also features tours celebrating the newly-designated UNESCO site Fort Negley and the 100th anniversary of Woman’s Suffrage. Through this platform, Nashville Sites seeks to engage users by connecting them to the city’s past and present.
The format of the walking tours is simple. Nashville Sites tours feature a description, introduction, map, stop overview, and conclusion. Each tour stop features several images, image descriptions, a narrative, audio narration, and metadata information for citation and credibility purposes. However, the tours are much more than a narrative, a map, and pictures. Nashville Sites tours are SELF-GUIDED and THEMATICALLY-BASED. Users may pick from over twenty tours and can customize their tour by starting or switching tours as they find sites and stories of interest. Audio narration and full-text are available as well as images and GPS navigation. They are also CREDIBLY CURATED, with curators ranging from local historians to professors to field experts. Viewable on a desktop, tablet, or other personal devices, all tours are hosted on a MOBILE-FRIENDLY website, eliminating the need for the user to download a mobile app. Our platform is FREE: cost-free and advertisement free. Nashville Sites is proud to provide accessible content that may be reused for non-commercial purposes provided Nashville Sites is credited and/or cited (CC BY-NC). This is all made possible by the project’s many stakeholders, including community members, private foundations, non-profit organizations, and local universities.
Nashville Sites’ mission is to engage users through inspirational stories and images that connect the city’s past and present. Nashville Sites tours highlight the forgotten and lesser-known stories of Nashville, expanding upon the city’s traditional historical narratives. The team welcomes the challenge and opportunity to re-define the city’s written history. By making these stories easily accessible, the Nashville team hopes that the content will inspire curiosity and instill a passion for knowledge.
The concept for Nashville Sites was born in 2017 as part of a George Mason University class project. Nashville Sites founder Dr. Mary Ellen Pethel created two digital walking tours of downtown Nashville as part of her post-graduate work in Digital Humanities. The project was based on existing historic markers, which led Dr. Pethel to reach out to Nashville’s Metro Historical Commission (MHC). She worked with Executive Director Tim Walker and Jessica Reeves, who coordinates MHC’s Historical Markers program. The trio made plans to move the project forward after Dr. Pethel joined the MHC Foundation Board. The partnership between MHC Foundation and Nashville Sites was made official in 2018. Consequently, MHC has dedicated many resources and staff to the project. Belmont University, where Dr. Pethel serves as a professor of practice, has also contributed to the project through partnerships with both Honors students and interns from the university.