Whether they are created by local organizations, professional museums or even family groups, historical exhibits serve a number of functions. They can provide a context for history, a means of passing on knowledge, and may even encourage an informed discussion about the topic. They often have a technological or interactive component, making them more exciting and engaging than a traditional textbook.
The best historical exhibits are interactive and can help a visitor to connect with a larger idea or concept. A good example is the one-of-a-kind interactive exhibits at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Its exhibits have been recognized as a benchmark for others. The museum’s website offers visitors a digital download of exhibit labels using QR codes.
Creating a good historical exhibition requires many factors, including a strong and nimble curator, the best materials, and appropriate budgets. The best of the best exhibits make the most of their limited resources, incorporating the latest technology to enhance the experience of visitors. Several local museums have adopted this philosophy.
The most common types of historical exhibits involve the display of materials from a historical time period or event. This type of exhibit includes both permanent and special exhibitions. A permanent exhibit consists of the best of what a particular museum has to offer, while a special exhibition can highlight a particular topic or area of interest. The special exhibition might include a walk-through, a giant screen film, or even live music and games.
The other major type of historical exhibit involves the display of materials not traditionally associated with historical topics. These exhibits might include objects of art, artifacts, or a variety of specialized collections. They are most commonly found at national or provincial levels. They might also be housed at a smaller local or regional museum. A number of national museums of history exist, such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of History in Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City.
The most popular historical exhibits are the ones that are produced by community organizations, such as schools or universities, as well as professional museums. There are a number of reasons to create a historical exhibition, such as a desire to educate a large audience about a specific subject or commemorate a historic event.
The biggest challenge in a historical exhibition is determining which exhibits are worthy of inclusion. To this end, the Society for History in the Federal Government (SHFSG) has set up an awards program that rewards exemplary exhibits. The organization awards two prizes each year. The first award is given to an exhibit that has a budget of under $5,000. The other award is given to a special exhibit that complies with a specified set of criteria.
The most important thing to remember when selecting a historical exhibit is to look for the best in its class. This could mean looking for the exhibit with the most interactive features, the most informative graphics or images, the most impressive visual design, the most compelling multimedia, or the most innovative and interactive technologies.