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Exhibiting History. It ’ s More Than a Display Board! British Columbia Heritage Fairs Society adapted with permission from a presentation of Chicago Metro History Education Center 2013. Think of the Heritage Fair exhibit as a mini-museum. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Exhibiting HistoryIts More Than a Display Board!

British Columbia Heritage Fairs Society adapted with permission from a presentation of Chicago Metro History Education Center

2013Think of the Heritage Fair exhibit as a mini-museum.In a museum visitors are greeted with a panel that announces the main idea of the exhibit and sets the stage for what will follow.

The exhibit designer creates a space that uses eye-catching graphics that reflect the theme, time period and topic. Colours, shapes and other visual cues organize different sections of the exhibit.

Subtitles and different shapes and sizes of labels also act as visual cues. The labels tell the story.

Each segment (or section) of the exhibit tells a different part of the story.

A variety of visually engaging and relevant primary sources show what the text tells.

Heritage Fair exhibits function the same way.When you do a Heritage Fair exhibit, you are museum curators and designers.

What do curators do?conduct historical research to answer a questionform an interpretation or thesis develop a storywrite the label text select primary sources and artefacts to support the interpretation or story

What do designers do?The designers show the story the curators want to tell by creating a well-organized and imaginative exhibit design that reflects and reinforces the curators interpretation.

Before Design Begins

Make an outline, write text, and do a layout before one finger touches an exhibit board! Show your draft to others to make sure it is logical to them.A TitleAn introduction and a conclusionLabels: The Students InterpretationPrimary Sources as EvidenceSubtitlesSecondary Sources as EvidencePARTS OF AN EXHIBIT:

The first elements the visitor sees are:

1. Overall design2. Title3. Introduction

Exhibit DesignThe maximum dimensions for an exhibit are 72 tall by 40 wide by 30 deep.The three-panel exhibit is the most common form but it is not required.

Like a museum, the goal of a Heritage Fair exhibit is to effectively communicate the curators interpretation. That takes organization and imagination.

The head of this immigrant to Canada holds his memories of his native country.

The design reflects the topic of the project. The form and colour of this display on Emily Carr reflects her paintings.

and is visually interesting.

Design delivers the messageChoose colours that reflect the topic of the exhibit. This exhibit is about Japantown. Why did the students select these colours? Review the earlier exhibits presented here. Do the colours fit the topic?Notice different colour mats for different parts of the exhibit.

What topics could these colours symbolize?Fonts

Always use readable styles and black type for labels: 16-24 font sizeLook at the actual sizes in different styles. Which is more readable?

Always use readable styles and black type for labels: 16-24 font sizeAlways use readable styles and black type for labels: 16-24 font sizeAvoid too few or too many words--neither communicates effectively

Remember: the products of research, analysis, and writing are what count the most in your exhibit.The title sends your message Make the title snappy and informative, and hint at the argument viewers will find in the exhibit.

Why do some titles communicate more effectively than others?Iranian Immigrants

Michael Schratters Bicycle JourneyHow a Revolution Changed My Life and Yours

Michael Schratter: One Pedal at a TimeThe introduction is the road map to the exhibit.

The introduction establishes:contextchange significance or impactand contains one sentence that gives the big idea of your exhibit (thesis statement).The largest label on the exhibit, the introduction will consist of approximately 100 words.There is no need to write Thesis or Introduction if the design makes it apparent. Consider using a different color matting, font size, or shape. A strong thesis statement:Makes a specific argument or interpretationHas a narrow focusSupported by the sources that are part of your displayCan be communicated in one or two sentencesThe exhibit layout is organized by sections, or segments, which present the interpretation. Most segments contain:SubtitleLabel(s)Primary SourcesSecondary SourcesSegments are like sections in a museum or paragraphs of a paper

The subtitle, interpretive label(s) and a variety of sources all connect to tell the story. Subtitles are Guideposts Subtitles guide the viewer through the exhibit and establish the main points of the argument.

Labels tell the storyLabels consist of 50-75 words that develop the interpretation in organized clusters of claims and evidence. Each label communicates one main idea.The Skytte Bowl shown in this photograph is a stone statue named after my Great Great Uncle Arvo Skytte. Arvo found the statue in the early 1920s while clearing trees from property on Skytte Road in an area of Maple Ridge known as Webster's Corner.

Strong labels: Focus on one idea Use active verbs Provide explanation and analysis of the primary sources Move the story forward

In each segment of the exhibit, the sources directly relate to the label text.

How do the following sources relate to this label? As industrialization began to sweep across Canada, the new factories began to hire children since they could be paid less. Why did parents agree to deprive their children of their childhood? To help support the family.

PhotographsPhotographs are more than pictures--they are evidence for the interpretation.What can be found in these photos?

Editorial Cartoons

QuotationsMany women keep their children from school to run the factory and to help with the homework. In order to earn anything and provide food for themselves. Reverend Dunne, 1897

Quotes from primary sources bring the actual voices from the past and can be powerful sources of evidence.From secondary sources they reinforce or add to your argument.

Posters and Flyers.Historic sources can reveal much about the past: the people who were trying to communicate, their audience, and the message. A contrast with modern sources can show what has changed and what has stayed the same.

A successful exhibit is the product of:in-depth research, a clear interpretation, interesting and relevant sources, a compelling story,and a visual design and layout that reinforces the message.WritingAnalysis Research Sources Labels Subtitles Design Put them all togetherand you have a mini-museum!

Visit our websitewww.bcheritagefairs.caTo see more examples of powerful displays.

Thanks to all the students whose work made this presentation possible!Thanks to the Chicago Historical Society for permitting us to adapt their PowerPoint