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In recent years, the impetus to create exhibits (both physical and online) that are innovative, professional, and meaningful for diverse audiences as part of a robust outreach program has increased significantly. The Society of American Archivists defines exhibitions as an organized display of materials with the secondary definition of a public demonstration of skills. The presenters will use their skills to demonstrate to attendees how they can re-envision the relevance of their exhibits and displays of collections material, in whatever form may be most appropriate for their institution and resources. Both presenters are archivists who have each worked in academic libraries for over a decade curating a variety of exhibit types, sizes, and topics.

Whether we are creating pop-up, in-library, in-library with digital or media elements, or online exhibits with, our goal for exhibits is to tell stories drawn from our collections that are meaningful to our audiences. We want people to connect personally with the stories we can tell using our diverse collections. We want our communities to learn about local history that may be new to them. Or, we want visitors to come away with a new area of personal or professional interest inspired by objects they saw in our displays. The more we succeed in these efforts, the more we consider our exhibits program to be a valuable and impactful tool for a repository's outreach program. The presenters will share examples from past displays of archival material, books, and objects including lessons learned, tips for exhibits on a budget, and simple assessment activities for any display.


Presented at the 2018 NLA/NSLA Joint Annual Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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