Slavery at Monticello

Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Slavery at Monticello

The mobile app gives users an interactive look at Monticello's history

Project Overview

Mulberry Row, the industrial hub of Jefferson’s 5,000-acre agricultural enterprise, was populated with more than 33 dwellings, workshops, and storehouses between 1770 and 1831. Today almost none of these structures remain. As visitors walk the grounds, the ‘Slavery at Monticello’ app tells the stories of the people who lived and worked at the industrial hub of Thomas Jefferson’s agricultural enterprise.

Project Videos and Images

An App Built To Encourage On-site Exploration

App users—whether on or off-site—can browse historical objects, photographs, letters, and stories that bring the community and its residents to life. Each object and letter is enhanced with video, annotations, and narration. The app also includes exclusive video interviews with living descendants of Jefferson’s slaves, offering first-hand insight into the lasting impact of slavery in America.

A user holding a cell phone displaying the mobile app
  • a user inspecting the details of an artifact using the interactive features of the mobile app

    When passing the ruins of the forge, visitors are greeted with the sounds and stories of forge workers.

  • A woman using the app to get more information about artifacts on display at Monticello

Location Awareness

For visitors to this important historic site, the app is designed to enhance exploration. The app’s advanced location-awareness features offer users content related to their location as they tour Mulberry Row. Using iBeacons and Monticello’s enhanced outdoor WiFi network, the app is geo-specific within a few feet of the user’s location.

An iBeacon in a tree, used for location awareness
  • A user using the app's interactive map feature

    An interactive map helps users locate nearby points of interest and find amenities throughout Monticello’s grounds.

  • User walking while using app

In the world of teacher miracles, this app is right up near the top of the miracle list. It will benefit my students immensely.

Larry Dorenkamp, North Hills Middle School, Pittsburgh, PA