[ISHMap-List] Recent Literature on Curating A Map Exhibit

Matthew Edney edney at usm.maine.edu
Sun Apr 6 16:41:37 CEST 2014

Dear All:

Alex raides an interesting question. I don't know of any literature about best practices in displaying maps in exhibitions - is there any?

There is, of course, a large literature about museums and exhibitions practice generally; my wife, who teaches museum practice (among other things) and who recently worked with students to prepare a successful art exhibition, introduced me to a great book on the preparation of labels that has much of interest in making one think about the exhibition as a whole:

	Serrell, Beverly. Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach. Walnut Creek, Calif.: Altamira, 1996.

But she has not found much literature about leading students in the design process; her own approach was always to frame student activities so that they had to take the lead while she served only as an advisor. As she says, if the exhibition was a success (and it was), then it was because of the students, but if it failed, it was because of her!

Several things that she did that might be of interest:

a) she had each student select two items from the collections that they could put into conversation with each other . . . even if one of the items did not make it into the final exhibition, this process helps stimulate ideas for the labels

b) each student should write the first draft of each label, but then the students should work communally to edit them … the instructor should not do the editing!

c) the students should examine the gallery space themselves, measuring its dimensions, and consider the placement and therefore selection of objects.

And so on.

Hope this helps . . .


On Apr 6, 2014, at 6:02 AM, "Hidalgo, Alexander" <a.hidalgo at tcu.edu> wrote:

> Folks,
> The following academic year, I will be working with graduate students on curating a map exhibit based on a small collection of historic maps held in my university’s special collections.
> Could you recommend any recent (or classic) literature on best practices for such an endeavor?
> Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
> Warm regards,
> Alex
> -- 
> Alex Hidalgo, PhD
> Assistant Professor of History
> Texas Christian University
> Fort Worth, TX 
> _______________________________________________
> ISHM mailing list
> ISHM at lazarus.elte.hu
> http://lazarus.elte.hu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/ishm


Matthew Edney

Osher Professor in the History of Cartography (USM)

Director, History of Cartography Project (UW)

See http://www.maphistorydirectory.org/index.php/User:Edney.Matthew

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