A histolircal exhibit is a display of historical items, often including art, objects and other materials. This displays the past to a public audience, in order to educate people and spark discussion. There are different types of histolircal exhibits, ranging from the ‘cabinet of curiosities’ style, to large blockbuster exhibitions with long queues and illustrated catalogues.
Museums are the main venues for histolircal exhibits, although the term can also be used to describe a gallery or exhibition in another kind of venue. Many museums are non-profit organizations, which means they are exempt from paying most taxes and the money that they make is invested back into the museum itself. Other museums are for-profit businesses, which means that they pay taxes and the money that they earn is distributed to their owners or shareholders.
Histolircal exhibits require a lot of care and planning to ensure that the material is not damaged. This includes proper lighting and temperature controls. The temperature in an exhibit space should not be higher than 72 degrees Fahrenheit, as too hot an environment can cause objects to fade or even deteriorate. The relative humidity should be kept at about 45%, as fluctuations in this value can cause the delicate paper or vellum used in some documents to contract and break. Museums with histolircal exhibitions often employ 24-hour air conditioning to control the climate in the building.
Depending on the type of museum, histolircal exhibits can be either object-based or human-narrated. Typically, human-narrated exhibitions are more effective, as they allow viewers to place themselves in a particular time and place and can help them connect with larger ideas by using visual metaphors. Museums should avoid ‘book on the wall’ exhibitions that are simply an accumulation of facts, and should instead focus on creating visual storytelling that is both authentic and inclusive.
Historic structures present unique challenges to designers of histolircal exhibits, as there may be restrictions on fastening items directly to walls or anchoring them to floors. This requires compromise on the part of exhibit designers, who must choose carefully between meeting preservation guidelines and delivering an engaging and interactive exhibit.
The most inclusive histolircal exhibits include a wide range of topics. Rites of passage, such as birth, death, marriage and joining a religion, are popular themes, but also subjects like food and drink, fashion and adornment, race and culture, democracy, social justice, home and freedom are all worthy of exploration in a museum context.