Thursday, October 13, 2011
This month is national archives month and to promote archival awareness, the Arnold Archives at PC has created a transportation exhibit. The theme is transportation in Clinton, and surprisingly enough covers almost every mode of transportation imaginable. There are pictures of the usual traffic: trains, students riding bikes to class, cars - but we also have a few rarer specimens - the hippie van that belonged to SVS in the 1970s, schedules of ship departures, pictures of the flight class taught during World War Two, and an advertisement for local horse stables published in the early twentieth century. So, baring the UFO siting, this exhibit literally has it all. It's especially neat to think that Clinton is such a lively transportation hub, when it is usually thought of as a small town where little happens.
The unique thing about this exhibit is the way in which it's displayed. Unlike the baseball exhibit that was created last month, this exhibit offers two-way viewing. So the entire thing is visible both inside and outside of the Archives. As Sarah and I worked to create this exhibit, dealing with the complete visibility of the situation proved challenging. When prepping the materials to go into the exhibit, we had to think of how they would look from both sides. This made trimming the pictures rather difficult. Each photo in the exhibit had to be two sided, meaning that the same picture was copied twice and the copies were held together back-to-back with tape. This was rather challenging, because the photos had to be trimmed exactly so that there was no overlapping. However I trimmed one picture, its copy had to be trimmed the same way. Luckily, Sarah knew a few tricks, which she taught me, which made prepping easier. She suggested that I line the photos up back to back with a sheet of construction paper between them, and then trim them. Doing it this way, I could make sure that the dimensions for each photo was the same, which taking less time to measure the width and length of each picture. Her advice certainly made my work easier.
Also while constructing this exhibit, we had to think of how the other aspects of the exhibits would look from each viewing side. So, toy planes and trains had to be placed so that they were visible from both sides of the display case. Items also had to be spaced correctly so that no one item was blocking the other. This proved extremely challenging, but after a few trial and errors and a lot of moving things around, we figured out the best way to display the items.
This was the first exhibit I had ever done with another person. It was useful because we could talk to each other about how things could be displayed and I could always get Sarah's opinion on what I was doing. Plus, the final product of the exhibit was something that we had both created. Sarah's veteran experience and amazing spacial awareness definitely complemented my eagerness to help and organizational skills. In the end, we created a smashing exhibit that everyone should come see...from both sides of the display case!