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Who Taught Her That? NLS Project Blog

Who Taught Her That? NLS Project Blog

This blog tracks my progress and challenges through my work on the National Library of Scotland's project 'Behind Glass? Digital Literature, Artefact and the Language of Display' in conjunction with the Edinburgh College of Art's Masters by Research in Collections and Curating Practices programme at the University of Edinburgh.

1.5.3 Our Displays

The Library’s prompt posed a series of questions, including, “what are the alternative possibilities for display and engagement when working with digital cultural heritage?” We have attempted to think of ways to diversify our displays, and to use as much technology as possible.

We have designed an x-shaped structure for the centre of the Boardroom with the Library’s Octanorm modular display system, which will be the backbone of the exhibition.  It will break up the space, as well as convey information on its panels. Surrounding it will be different digital displays, all encouraging engagement as follows:

Traquair Interactive Display: a touchscreen for exploring images of the Traquair Illuminated Manuscript, which will allow the viewer access to more of the book’s contents, as well as close-up details that would be hard to see by the naked eye.

Google Arts and Culture: an interactive slideshow we are creating with the Library’s Google Arts & Culture Intern Lauren McCombe about advice given through broadside ballads to British women between 1750 and 1850, which will live on past the exhibition on Google’s platform.

LDL Station: a place for visitors to learn about and interact with the Legal Deposit Library System, which is at the heart of the Library’s digital collection.

Suffragette Speech: a re-recorded version of Millicent Fawcett’s Home and Politics speech, paired with a blown-up image of a Prince’s Street Suffragette March to create an immersive experience.

Tweet Stream: a monitor showing all Twitter activity related to the exhibition.

iPad in a Case next to a Touchable Book: the swapping of the traditional roles of these objects in display situations is meant to make visitors consider their thoughts on displaying technology as if it were an artefact. This is an idea the Library has had since the initial briefing.

Photo Credit: Kirsten Lloyd

Takeaways and For-Next-Times:

As this is a chance for the Library to use us as metaphorical guinea pigs, as well as for us to experiment with a large amount of creative freedom.  It was important to us to do justice to both those situations, and to come up with truly innovative ideas within the constraints of the equipment pool we were working with, as well as the rules of installation in the space.


Entry Wordcount: 369

Running Total Wordcount: 2189

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