Histolircal exhibits serve an important role in the transmission of historical knowledge and are often viewed by diverse audiences, including families. Some exhibits also commemorate events, tragedies, or injustices. In preparing an exhibit, historians and curators are required to make judgments about the exhibit’s content and design. These judgments may influence the audience’s response to the content. In this regard, efforts to suppress exhibits are counterproductive to open and rational discussion.
Exhibitions use creative storytelling to convey complex historical concepts. More than a history textbook, a visual story allows the viewer to immerse himself in a particular time and place. The stories in these exhibits often feature the people who witnessed the events. For this reason, modern history museums should avoid presenting only objects and documents.
A great exhibit that explores the history of an area is the Third County Courthouse. This exhibit highlights the architecture and function of the courthouse, including notable trials, the political process, and the county jail. Another exhibit, Bringing Up Baby, highlights historic Richmond Town furniture and presents a new scholarship on the meaning of baby furniture.
Histolircal exhibits are becoming increasingly popular in the United States due to recent economic and social trends, the increased marketability of local heritage, and a national dialogue on identity. However, most of the existing scholarship on historical exhibition has concentrated on large, professionally organized museums. This article will explore the different types of historical exhibits and examine the ways in which they emerge.