I have had a wonderful semester here at Special Collections learning how to create an engaging and appealing congressional exhibit. While my process involved a lot of trial and error in order to find a comfortable and effective work process, I know that I will be able put these skills to use later in my career. Since my last blog post, I have worked on Stewart Udall, Morris Udall, Dennis Deconcini, James McNulty, and Jim Kolbe. Unlike the beginning of the project, the recent congressman all had fairly large collections, which proved to be another challenge. Whereas before I struggled with finding materials from the smaller collections which were limited and small, this time I experienced the problem of having too much to choose from. In retrospect, I prefer working with collections that have an abundance of material, even if it takes a bit more time to decide which materials are best.
As I near graduation, I am confident that I will be able to finish on time, which was a pleasant surprise. The last step will be creating a plan for the images that will be placed on the wall above each exhibit case. I decided that I would feature at least one photo of the individual, an item relating to their campaign, and maybe another item that is visually interesting. While I have already chosen 1-3 items per congressman to use to introduce each person, I need to measure and determine the placement as well. After that is complete, I will be submitting materials to our library Express Document Center for scanning and printing and finally hang the images. The last addition I will be making to the exhibit include QR codes that will be placed on each case in order for patrons to access the finding aids of each featured congressman. This will hopefully increase traffic for the Special Collections website and encourage others to research and access the amazing collections that are featured here.
As my graduate career comes to a close, I am thrilled that I was given the opportunity to work at UA Special Collections. The people I have met and the skills I have learned will no doubt assist me in landing my first professional job. Until then, I cannot wait to see my finished exhibit and demonstrate the progress I have made.