As I posted previously, the online exhibit I’ve been working on is completed. You can view it yourself here: preservation40.com, but tonight Ben and I are officially unveiling the online exhibit at the Preservation Society’s Annual Membership Meeting. We will be discussing what the exhibit covers as well as why it’s important in the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill. I hope to receive feedback from those in attendance as well as from those who visit the site online.
Online exhibits have several advantages over physical exhibits in that more information can be used because there are no spatial restrictions and less time and money are required since objects do not need to be physically acquired, conserved, or displayed. Also, the most important advantage in my opinion is that is makes the information more widely accessible. Anyone with an internet connection can view the exhibit rather than only those who can travel to the Preservation Society.
Creating the exhibit was an enjoyable process and I feel it was good practice for me considering I am interested in one day being a museum curator. The process involved with curating a digital exhibit is quite different from that of a physical exhibit, but many of the underlying principles are the same. In order to create an exhibit one must take a large amount of information, condense it for practical reasons, and find themes or common threads in which to situate the information for a public audience. I hope that our online exhibit does these things well and is interesting and educational to those who see it.
Now that the exhibit is completely ready, I have been beginning a new project. I mentioned in a previous post that I might be conducting an oral history interview. I was able to contact the source this past week and do a short preliminary interview. The man is a former resident of the Hogan-Rogers House on Purefoy Road that the Preservation Society is interested in saving. We hope that his involvement could show that there are many historical reasons to save the house, but there are also personal ties of those still living in the area. Until the official interview I will be preparing questions to ask, researching the technical equipment necessary to carry out a proper oral history such as a video camera and audio equipment, and preparing for the interview in general.
I am looking forward to carrying out the interview since it will be a new experience for me. I feel that conducting an oral history will expose me to a new set of skills that will be valuable for my future career in the public history realm.