The First U.S. State to Display Original Founding Documents

In 2018, the Ohio Statehouse Museum hired Roto to create a new exhibit dedicated to the examination and preservation of the original 1802 and 1851 Ohio Constitutions. Following years of behind-the-scenes work with the Ohio History Connection, the previous stewards of the historic documents, the Statehouse appointed Roto to transfer the delicate documents to the museum, thus becoming the first state to display an authentic constitution at their state capital building. Roto’s job was to blend these authentic artifacts with digital content in a way that transcends into something that visitors can’t get online – a tactile experience designed to reflect the changing ideas and opinions of visitors who experience it.

Roto’s skilled team provided state-of-the-art-archival display cases for these priceless documents – conserved to the highest standards of archival document preservation – while mindfully providing security, creating the right environmental conditions for 200-year old documents, and making them accessible to the public. Making the documents personal and engaging for both Ohio citizens and tourists posed as an additional challenge that was resolved by flanking the case with interactives that articulate the idea of a citizen’s rights and responsibilities. Additionally, the touch activation not only gets visitors actively engaging since you can not see the documents until you physically turn on the light – but every person is tangibly contributing to the documents’ history with every light photon affecting the vulnerability of the documents. The entire project was planned, designed, engineered, built and installed to last for a generation.

Read more in our case study here.

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