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MOCA Marks 1-Year Anniversary Of Fire At Archives With Online Exhibition

The collections are available for download on Android and iOS.

MOCA Marks 1-Year Anniversary Of Fire At Archives With Online Exhibition

Almost one year to the day when a 5-alarm fire nearly destroyed its nationally treasured collection of more than 85,000 historical artifacts, MOCA has launched a new partnership with Google to make hundreds of digitized images of objects, sculptures, letters, photos and videos from MOCA's collections available for free on the Google Arts & Culture digital platform to be viewed, studied and enjoyed by people near and far online and on its app, available for download on Android and iOS.

Starting today, users of Google Arts & Culture will now be able to see a new MOCA virtual exhibition titled Trial by Fire: The Race to Save 200 Years of Chinese American History, available exclusively on the platform.

Trial by Fire marks the one-year anniversary of a fire at 70 Mulberry Street that occurred on January 23, 2020 and tells the story of the Museum's race against the clock to retrieve, rescue, and repair its archives, the largest collection of Chinese American artifacts in the world. Trial by Fire is an original MOCA exhibition written, researched and compiled from the Museum's daily social media posts, primary sources such as videos and images, public records and news reports that documented the first critical weeks of the fire, its aftermath and recovery effort afterward.

In addition, over 200 digitized high-resolution images from MOCA's collections will be available for the first time on the platform as well as digital exhibits of With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America, MOCA's permanent exhibition, and the My MOCA Story video project, a crowdsourced social-media storytelling project launched by MOCA at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These will all be available at For media inquiries about these virtual and digital exhibitions, email

"One of the unexpected silver linings of this period of time are creative and intentional new partnerships. MOCA is incredibly grateful to Google Arts & Culture to expand MOCA's usership which will inevitably broaden the much-needed scholarship in the areas related to the Chinese American narrative in America," said Nancy Yao Maasbach, President of the Museum of Chinese in America.

"Google Arts & Culture is proud to share the Museum of Chinese in America's journey from tragedy to triumph, as it worked to successfully preserve and protect the museum's art and historical artifacts for generations to come," said Google Arts & Culture US Lead Simon Delacroix. "Now people around the world will get to experience the museum immersively through virtual tours and exclusive exhibits."

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