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  • Get to know each other and our respective roles
  • Get on the same page about the problem and the needs of the campuses and CDL around this
  • Start to envision a way forward for our group

Discussion items



5minScope of the issueSherrin/a
50minGeneral discussion / framing of the problemAllSee below


  • UCSC has students create exhibitions as final projects - how to work with different staff

  • Educational use case is huge - do we address this?

    • So much interest in student-generated content

    • Community-generated content

  • How do physical exhibitions translate to digital space?

  • Is Calisphere a service or a vetting process?

  • UCI isn’t even there yet for instruction - an exploratory opportunity, is it something we *can* do? - expectations, the type of work that might be required

    • A big project for our intern to work on

    • Document all that and express expectations for interns

  • UCI recap:

    • Rotating physical exhibition - not really digital presence

    • Can we have students scan objects and make an easy website of it?

    • CA Rare Books School class on exhibits

    • Meanwhile, UCI is reframing the exhibits committee

    • Important to know: can’t create Calisphere exhibits without the content already digital and on Calisphere

    • Refocus from general exhibit about National Parks to more local scope

    • They split the responsibilities between two interns: 1 physical, 1 digital

    • Only being able to use what’s on Calisphere is a limitation

    • Intern was 2nd year undergrad - poised, academic maturity, history dept

    • Intern had the story she needed to tell, but not the training to tell the story

    • How in-depth to get into things?

    • She assumed that the audience knew the things she had already researched; she didn’t realize she had the breadth of knowledge she had, and needed to write it out

    • What types of questions would researchers have when they approached these materials?

  • UCSF experience with Omeka:

    • Similar model - you create the digital item first

    • Limiting in the sense that some of the stuff you’d include in physical exhibits - e.g. graphic material, logos, etc. - how you group things to make a statement

    • How do you make that resonate on a cookie-cutter digital exhibit platform?

  • A good deliverable of our group would be some guidance: bulleted list of things to think about in creating these, base requirements

  • Multi-institutional questions:

    • Does everything need to be owned by one institution?

  • Do there need to be base requirements based on scope of exhibitions? - e.g., is Calisphere an appropriate place to do a very subject-specific exhibition? Or do you have to make it broader, like “psychology in the bay area?”

    • Narrowness or broadness of topic

  • Also technical requirements that Calisphere may not fulfill - is there an option for an institution to case-by-case propose additional development? A clear path for this.

    • A marketing component of this

  • Recap:
    • Can’t assume it’s only curators writing these things
    • Scoping: what it is, what’s in it?
    • Decision-making and vetting - collection development?; is CDL a publishing house? How do we make sure that Calisphere is trusted and adheres to this? Someone else needs to look at this - who and how?
  • Could some exhibitions get a Twitter “seal of approval”?

    • “I’ve seen some horrible student-created exhibitions”

    • Differentiating between user-created exhibitions and curator-created exhibitions

  • Physical exhibits have various levels for funding, etc.

    • Could there be 3 templates for exhibits?

    • A, B, C level templates - e.g. number of items we expect to display, how much text, etc.

  • Caught between wanting to market this and get people involved and also saying “we have all these guidelines and standards” -- very awkward position

    • Here’s what we would tell people and get them to come in at their commitment level

  • If we could clearly articulate mission, vision, values, and purpose for Calisphere exhibition, then we’d be in better shape:

    • Is it about giving context to objects? And having an argument?

    • Is it to bring material to otherwise be in disparate collections together? Is it about raising questions about historical material?

  • Is an exhibition an argument (a-level) or a celebration (b-level)?

  • What Christine and Brenna wanted was more documentation on expectations and roles

  • We should generate a list of outcomes we want to see

    • Mission statement

    • Documentation

    • Maybe let the models marinate a little - discussion we want to continue

    • Everybody find 2-3 examples of things you think are successful or not

Action items


  1. Sherri Berger - I know we have the call scheduled tomorrow, but is this going to be the biweekly time moving forward? I think that actually works for me pretty well, but wasn't sure if that was the plan. 

    1. Hi Robin - I scheduled this just for the one-time meeting but if this works for everyone moving forward let's go for it! Let's review tomorrow AM (and if you want to put a temp. hold on your calendar prospectively, go for it!)