Writing the Labels

March 9th, 2013 by edewolfe

Heather Duquette, Medical Biology major/ History minor, 2013

This week in Museums & Public History we started to write the precursor to the labels for our Civil War exhibit. At the beginning of the semester we were informed that 3-5 page research papers would have to be trimmed down, to about a paragraph in length. As our teachers keep repeating “This is the hardest paragraph you will ever write.” As I sat writing my paper, on the relatively narrow subject of remembering the war, I began to wonder how others would succeed in writing theirs. Some of the topics for this exhibit are extremely broad, focusing on medicine, transportation, triggers, or economy leading up to, or during the war. Then I began to worry, is it possible to fully explain the Civil War using John Haley’s voice? Haley’s diary is an edited book filling up roughly three hundred pages, edited first by Haley himself, and then by Ruth Silliker. From these three hundred pages we chose topics pertaining to the Civil War, and scoured the text looking for Haley’s voice on the subject. These paragraphs must not only completely encompass the research from the Civil War, but must also catch and keep the visitors attention. I truly see now, why the exhibit labels for John Haley’s Civil War will be the hardest paragraphs anyone in our group will ever write.

Speed Bumps

March 9th, 2013 by edewolfe

Richard Bruce, History, 2013

Recently my team and I have been faced with the challenge of designing exactly how our theme will look to anyone walking through our section of the exhibit.  I am on the team for Theme 3: Women, Men & the Homefront, and right now we’re trying to find a way to use information we’ve researched to hook anyone who comes through our section of the exhibit.

In terms of my online research, recently I came upon a scan of an actual discharge paper of a civil war soldier.  Soldiers could have received these papers for a number of reasons, effectively relieving them of duty.  Despite being a History major, this is the first discharge paper I have come across, I am interested to see how my team and I will be able to incorporate it into the overall idea of our theme.  Even with my recent find, my research has not been without a few speed bumps and I’ve had a bit of a hard time finding information on the life of men who stayed home during the Civil War.  But as I have learned time and time again in the past, sometimes you just have to look in the right spot to find what you’re looking for, I’m confident I’ll be able to find the information I need so our team can make this exhibit the best it can be.