Curating: A Crash Course
I’ve been super busy these last few months working on a project for work, but now that it’s done I am finding I have more time to blog, read, and play video games. To celebrate being done with my project (mostly) I figured I’d write about what has been occupying my time these last 7 months. Thankfully I got a new job in January with the Nixon Library. Immediately upon being hired I was told that my main focus for the first 6-7 months was to create an online exhibit. As someone who has never curated an exhibit before I was necessarily a bit worried. How the hell was I going to accomplish this? Where do I start? Will I be able to even complete this in the time frame that was allotted to me? Those are the types of questions that swirled and twittered around my brain for pretty much the entire 7 months. Some how I did complete it and somehow I managed to exceed expectations, even my own, and produce something that has now been deemed “The first of many”.
So what exactly goes into an online exhibit?
Well good thing you asked because here are the ingredients for this particular exhibit:
- 15+ Books (monographs, memoirs, biographies, and US History)
- Countless hours of reading and note taking.
- Hundreds of post-its
- Countless hours researching primary source documents
- 15 page narrative
- 10+ revisions to said narrative
- 100+ hours of listening to the White House Tapes
- A Darth Vaderesque “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
- 30 pages of notes on the White House Tapes
- 36 audio clips created
- 32 primary source documents scanned
- Researching photo negatives in cold storage
- 36 photos scanned
- 50+ hours of design, photo editing, entering metadata etc.
- 8 videos digitized and then edited
- Learning how to code a website
- 8, 000+ lines of HTML & CSS code
- Many hours of work at home at night and on the weekends
- Rechecking again
- Too many new gray hairs to count
- Write a Tumblr teaser
- Create a Tumblr graphic
- Stress & wrinkles galore
- One last revision
- One more rechecking
And when you put that all together it comes out as an online exhibit that 5 people may click through–hopefully more though. Anyways stay tuned as Memoirs v. Tapes: President Nixon & the December Bombing goes live on Thursday.
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