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FYI - Updated forms are attached as "attachments" to this page

Some general notes before the template:

  • Might be nice to include some front matter text that makes clear to curators this is a draft document and open to editing/review by Calisphere committee or whatever group ends up being the arbiters.
  • Do we want to have a minimum/maximum number of items you can include in an exhibit? Might help with project scoping and layout. 15? 25? 50? More!?
  • Regarding the exhibit pages' functionality: If each item has a space for more descriptive text, maybe some way to indicate that to users, i.e. "click on images to learn more" or some kind of guidance that the overview text is not the end of the curatorial content
  • Also, the way the items appear now (in equal rows), does not really imply to users that they should follow that order. To me, they are rather democratically arranged and look like you should just click on whatever strikes your fancy. If we encourage curators to use the added space on each item to tell a story, maybe some way to make sure that is how users experience the exhibit?  Agreed! - Robin
  • Regarding "Themes": I think this is a larger conversation, but do we want to move forward with "themes" on Calisphere? From what I can tell on the current Calisphere site, the themes are a little confusing to navigate: https://calisphere.org/exhibitions/browse/all/ Maybe we could restructure this a bit into topic areas and have curators choose 3(?) that they think their exhibit fits into (kind of like tagging). Trying to keep the idea of helping users navigate to content that is relevant to their needs and allow Calisphere/curators to put smaller exhibits into conversation with other relevant content as part of a larger historical picture. Open to suggestions! Definitely need to address - Robin


Title of Exhibit: ___________________________________________

Should be concise, descriptive, and engaging; Avoid the words "collection" and "exhibit"; Do we want to allow subtitles, i.e. "Southern California's Open Spaces: Activism and Environmental Challenges"? What about dates in titles? I like keeping the main title short, and so yes to both subtitles and dates - Robin

In Calisphere now (and I'm sure this is a holdover from the old site), the titles are kind of wonky. For example, in thumbnail view the title of an exhibit is "Asian Americans: World War II" but when I click into that the title only reads "World War II" (https://calisphere.org/exhibitions/54/asian-americans-world-war-ii/). But, when I click on the theme of "World War II" it doesn't look like that exhibit appears among the 8 listed (https://calisphere.org/exhibitions/t7/world-war-ii-1939-1945/). This ties into the theme question, but I also think we should think through titles coming from disparate groups that might be very similar and thus confusing to users. And also w the breadcrumbs up top - adds to the confusion. - Robin

Exhibit Description Snippet: ______________________________________________________

No more than 2 sentences. Should indicate what users will learn from the exhibit and excite them to dive in. Maybe more explicit call to frame it like an argument/thesis statement would help curators understand the goal of this snippet?  Or some samples - Robin

Right now, many of the exhibit description snippets just describe the images "These images show the devastation that drove the Dust Bowl refugees to leave their homes and migrate to California" (https://calisphere.org/exhibitions/28/dust-bowl-migration/)

Hero Image: (will be displayed as a thumbnail and then as a banner behind the title/description. Should be engaging and represent overall message of the exhibit) Add size requirements. - Robin


Full Overview: ___________________________________________________

Maybe break into standard sections with word limits:

Exhibit Overview - required, max 150 words, makes clear the argument and details what material is included in the exhibit

  • How about calling this "In This Exhibit"?

About - required, a standard credit line, like "The LGBT Pride Parade was curated and written by Joey Plaster, in collaboration with staff at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society and the University of California, in 2011" and option to include funding info like "exhibit made possible by..."  I think we may want to break this up into fields to be more precise: Role / Name, respository, etc? Or do you think an open sentence is better for the range of exhibits we may get? I also think we should indicate if related to a physical exhibit or not.

  • How about calling this "Credit" or "Thanks" or "Acknowledgements"?

Historical Context (or some other title) - optional, up to 500 words?,space to include essays/biographical notes, get more in depth

  • How about calling this "Context" or "Background" (but it may not always be 'historical' per se - could be technical or about a particular movement or philosophy or technique. Though usually historical.)

Related Material - optional, a place to list books, sources, finding aids, other exhibits? Great

Any other sections you can think of? Do we like the idea of standardizing the section titles? Definitely standardize for ease of use across site.

The side panels on the existing overview sections vary widely from exhibit to exhibit. Do we want to leave those open to different needs or make them more uniform? Maybe that space is only for photo caption notes, definitions of terms, etc.? Or maybe we use it for the "related material section" instead?


Item Descriptions: ____________________________________________________

To be included (optionally) with each item. A space to provide more historical context about an item and/or tell a story using the items as evidence.  Do we want word limits on these? I would give an ideal range but not specifically limit. The template could include a spreadsheet or table to easily fill in with the title of the object and the added text to be included.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Kelsi,

    This is *awesome,* thanks for taking a first pass and thinking through this!

    I'm trying to think of the best way for us as a group to tackle this - maybe we could tackle the questions one-by-one as a group? What do you think?

    Some general feedback from me:

    • I love the idea of giving a little overview of what each section is for. I'm wondering if we might take that a bit further and do some kind of overview at the very beginning that outlines the structure of an exhibition and what is expected, e.g. "an exhibition contains X-X number of items with item-level interpretation, an overview of the whole set, and can contain clarifying notes" or something like that.
    • I think one of the things we should work through is where to be restrictive/standardized, vs. where to give people very solid examples of what would work in a given area (and this ties into the bullet above, where we'd make very clear the intended purpose of each area). E.g. I'd say that the "side panels" might not have to be uniform, but we should provide some examples of what works well in that space, like definitions of jargon, related collections, etc.

    Also I'm wondering what format this could ultimately take – maybe a google form? or just a word doc.