National Prisoner of War
National Park Service
The National Prisoner of War Museum in Andersonville, Georgia is an emotional journey interpreting the compelling experiences of captured American soldiers. The historic site, building architecture, works of art, exhibits, and AV programs work together to interpret the powerful story of the America POW.
Each room in the museum presents a different facet of the varied POW testimonials. The exhibit begins with a short film entitled, "Echoes of Captivity" narrated by General Colin Powell. Lifecast figures, sculptures, wall murals and environmental settings are utilized to augment the traditional graphic and casework approach.
At the mid-point, a multimedia presentation showcases the struggle of family members titled, “Those Who Wait.” Individual soldier oral histories are contrasted with parallel stories of family members, and the news they receive from the government.
Throughout the exhibits there are tactile items and exhibit drawers that may be opened to reveal personal keepsakes, journals or even secret correspondence. Groundbreaking fiber optic lighting was incorporated to reduce UV lighting and help preserve artifacts. The museum opened several years after design was completed. Funding was tight and only after a $1 National Prisoner of War Museum commemorative coin was issue was full funding available.