Creating Online Exhibits

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Creating Online Exhibits
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Santamaria-Wheeler, Lourdes
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Presentation slides for webinar presented through TBLC

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Creating Online Exhibits l.s.wheeler@ufl.edu Lourdes Santamara Wheeler Exhibits Coordinator George A. Smathers Libraries, UF

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What is an exhibit? An exhibit is a story interpretation context scholarly content

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Exhibits are also experiences What visitors do & feel is important Marina performing "Artist is Present" at the MoMA in May 2010 by Shelby Lessig licensed under CC BY SA 3.0

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What story do you want to tell? Production of Bell for Adano Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida

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What makes a good exhibit? An aspect of the exhibition is innovative Offers a new perspective, new insight, or new information on a topic Synthesizes and presents existing knowledge and/or collection materials in a provocative way Indicators of exhibit excellence from the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME)

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What makes a good exhibit? Includes innovative uses of media, materials, and other design elements Is exceptionally capable of engendering a personal, emotional response, and/or profoundly memorable in a constructive way Indicators of exhibit excellence from the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME)

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What makes a good exhibit? Evokes responses from viewers that are evidence of a transforming experience Indicators of exhibit excellence from the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME) It was haunting Sent shivers down my spine I'll never see [that] in the same way again The exhibition was an eye opener

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Good exhibits... Are easy to explain Make the subject come to life Are conceptually simple Emphasize connections among things

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Why create an online exhibit? Education Mission fulfillment Bring awareness to hidden/low usage materials Share new findings, new acquisitions, new relationships among items Broaden audience

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Why create an online exhibit? Display fragile items Link to multimedia content Permanent /semi permanent resource Gilt Wood Seated Bodhisattva X Ray Korean Art: Collecting Treasures Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art and George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida

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Considerations Funding needs Site maintenance Copyright Design Browsers /Mobile compatibility

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Promote Launch Edit/Refine Evaluate Write labels Refine object list Reduce exhibit to one sentence Identify items Determine general theme/central topics Analyze materials

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Selecting an exhibit theme Pick a compelling story that the materials support Think beyond directly commemorative months, milestones, anniversaries Concrete ideas not requiring a lot of background information, too much explanation

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Selecting an exhibit theme Pick a compelling story that the materials support Think beyond directly commemorative months, milestones, anniversaries Concrete ideas not requiring a lot of background information, too much explanation

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When selecting items do not choose solely on visual appeal but rather choose an item for its inherent information, story advancement The Rev. Benjamin notebooks: pinkas 3 from George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Aus Vergilbten Akten Zur Geschichte der Bonner Synagogengemeinde from The Gathering Storm A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.

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Labels Introductory (Curator Statement) ID (tombstone) Caption Group Serrell Beverly. Exhibit labels: an interpretive approach Walnut Creek: Alta Mira Press, 1996.

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ID Label Are not interpretive Basic bibliographic information about an item Creator (first last name) (Nationality, birth death) Title Date Publisher Dimensions Call number/Accession number Credit line

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Introductory Label Also referred to as the curator statement introduces the big idea sets up the organization and tone of the exhibit 50 200 words

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Caption Label Are not a visual description of an item interpret individual items sometimes the only ones visitors read 20 100 words, approximately 50 is ideal

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Group Label Are more general explain/interpret a grouping of items introduce sub themes 20 150 words

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Interpretive Labels (Introductory, Caption, Group) Conversational & narrative Just enough details to tell the story Avoid tech, specialized terms, or anything that requires lengthy explanation Not for your academic peers

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to spend more than 10 20 minutes in exhibit

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The magic of exhibitions is at the intersection of design and curation Not one or the other.

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Audience Who are they? What are they like? Why are they coming ? What do you want them to do ? Unintended audiences are common online

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Evaluation Formal or informal Have someone who is unfamiliar with subject navigate site, read labels, etc.

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Promotion Press releases social media, etc. If possible, also offer in house

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Copyright AAM D fair use for thumbnails low resolution, less than commercial quality less than 250 x 300 px

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Omeka Omeka.net Web publishing platform that allows anyone with an account to create or collaborate on a website to display collection and build digital exhibits No in depth technical skills or special server requirements are necessary Hosted solution

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Omeka Omeka.org Original downloadable version of Omeka platform More flexibility in look and functionality Requires server & technical support Medieval Scrolls at Harvard: Scrolls in the Codex

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Getting it online Adobe Muse: Some design familiarity necessary, no coding Past Perfect online exhibit module Must have past perfect, inlcudes templates

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HTML Full control, coding necessary The Gathering Storm: Jewish Life in Germany and Eastern Europe in the 1930s: Germany early 1930s and Korean Art: Collecting Treasures: General Van Fleet

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Access, Analytics, and SEO Worldwide vs. local audience ADA web compliance SEO Keywords & links Periodically review stats

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Keys to Online Exhibits Avoid too many links out to other sites, viewers get Keep copy extra short, a lot of competing content online When possible link to full resource online

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Does digital content negatively impact physical visitorship ? NO

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Resources Omeka http ://www.omeka.net Omeka showcase of sample sites http ://info.omeka.net/showcase/ Smathers Libraries Resources for Curators http ://exhibits.uflib.ufl.edu/resources.html Smathers Libraries Online Exhibits http ://exhibits.uflib.ufl.edu/online.html Label tips http ://exhibits.uflib.ufl.edu/docs/labels.pdf ID label templates http ://exhibits.uflib.ufl.edu/docs/IDlabels.pdf National for Museum Exhibition ( NAME) http ://name aam.org AAM Curators Committee Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition past winners http ://www.curcom.org/curcom_comp_labels.php AAMD Policy on the use of Thumbnail images https ://aamd.org/sites/default/files/document/Thumbnail%20Images%20Policy.pdf Smithsonian Library & Archival Exhibitions on the Web List http://www.sil.si.edu/SILPublications/Online Exhibitions/ Copyright terms in U.S. http:// copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm Turning Views into Visits http ://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00014171/00001/pdf Support materials from past exhibits (object lists, labels, press releases, posters, etc .) http ://ufdc.ufl.edu/exhibitmaterials/all

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Thank you http:// ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00022788 l.s.wheeler@ufl.edu Lourdes Santamara Wheeler Exhibits Coordinator George A. Smathers Libraries, UF