The Illinois State Museum is hosting a tent at the Illinois State Fair. I’d like to have a display promoting preservation of collections. Anyone have any ideas for a hands-on project that they would recommend?
This is a great idea! Maybe this isn’t the most exciting activity but what about showing people how to store their family artifacts? Such as how to fold an heirloom quilt and pad it with tissue (using a non-heirloom quilt of course), the proper boxes in which store a family bible, etc. I hope other C2C Online Members will weigh in on this and maybe try something similar since it is state and county fair season.
One project we’re working on here in NC that might be good for a state fair is getting museums to install a “touch panel” of different materials, similar to one that Colonial Williamsburg developed for its “Conservation: Where Art and Science Meet” exhibit. A row of plexi covered about 3/4 of the materials on CW’s touch board, so visitors could see the protected vs. unprotected. I have a photo of CW’s to share with you (but can’t figure out how to attach it here).
Adrienne sent me a great photo of how the “touch panel” looks and I have polled some colleagues for their ideas as well. I’m going to put it all up in a blog post this weekend–stay tuned!
Blog post is up at http://www.connectingtocollections.org/taking-preservation-to-the-fair/ and is linked to from the C2C Online Community homepage. Keep the good ideas coming! And Bronwyn, tell us what you decided to do for the Illinois State Fair.
Proper storage and identification of photographs could easily be done–sleeves and binders or boxes. Also perhaps a blurb indicating the extreme importance of identification–an unidentified and undated photograph is practically useless, unfortunately.
Thanks for all the tips! I used your suggestions to create two mini displays for the fair. The first was a small touch board: I attached a piece of light colored linen and a piece of Japanese paper to a board and covered half of these. I made a sign that said “Please Touch”. I was amazed at how many kids went to touch it and there parents jumped in to stop them! I think it made adults and kids stop and think about what was in the display. For the second display I used an old, crumpled top hat from my kids’ play room. I created a story that said the hat had just been found in a basement… what should you do next? I supplied archival tissue, gloves and a box to demonstrate proper storage. I also provided typed instructions for times when no one was at the booth. Of course one of the steps was to contact the Illinois Preservation Network (our Connecting to Collections network)!
I’m going to continue to refine these ideas for more upcoming events at the Illinois State Museum and I welcome any more of your terrific ideas.
Recently at our local county fair we took with us a teaching trunk, put together with two of our 5th grade teachers, touching on over 11,000 years of area occupation. Our local flint knapper had made us two wonderful display boxes of local rocks and pieces showing the progression from rock to finished spear and arrow heads. He all so made us a set of flint knapping tools and several finished pieces (all edges dulled of course) that the kids and parents could pick up and hold. They were the hit of our booth.
Keep in touch as you develop your ideas Bronwyn and send photos if you have ‘em!
Kristin, I have a couple of images, but don’t see how to post them. Help!
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