[ISHMap-List] recent literature on curating a map exhibit

Ed Dahl ed.dahl at sympatico.ca
Sun Apr 6 17:46:05 CEST 2014

Alex Hidalgo,

I think you need to distinguish between best practices to follow  
the physical object (physical condition of the artifact, matting,  
lighting, environmental conditions, security, etc.) and those concerning
the content of the document (panels, captions, etc.).

Doing the right thing as far as the physical object is concerned will  
that you deal with the extensive conservation literature which exists  
not only the "recent literature," since these matters have been  
written about
for eons).

Perhaps begin with a visit to the website of the American Institute for
Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works:

	>  http://www.conservation-us.org/

Another step would be to visit active professional conservators, all  
of whom
would be knowledgeable about matters relating to exhibitions.

Perhaps at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin?

	>  http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/

All the best,

P.S. I notice that you say the maps you will be exhibiting are  
I have never curated an exhibition which featured only such maps, but
several which included both "historic" and "just historical."

Ed Dahl, 720, chemin Fogarty, Val-des-Monts (Québec) J8N 7S9, CANADA
      TEL: (819) 671-9721   FAX: (819) 671-9722
	ed.dahl at sympatico.ca

Begin forwarded message:

From: Matthew Edney <edney at usm.maine.edu>
Date: April 6, 2014 10:41:37 AM GMT-04:00
To: "ishm at lazarus.elte.hu" <ISHM at lazarus.elte.hu>
Subject: Re: [ISHMap-List] Recent Literature on Curating A Map Exhibit

Dear All:

Alex raises 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  

And so on.

Hope this helps . . .


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

> 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
> ______________
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