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This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

An exhibition? How hard can it be?

Every time Jeremy Clarkson says “how hard can it be?” on Top Gear you can predict the chaos about to unfold, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover an exhibition was a lot more challenging than I thought, once I’d made the mistake of saying “how hard can it be?”

As an intern in the Collections Office I get lots of projects to do, and one of these projects was to create a small display on the Romans in Keynsham as part of the “Story of Somerdale” exhibition held at the Cadbury factory in Keynsham during January.

Setting up the display
The project started out easily enough, once I had discovered that Somerdale was the Cadbury factory, where the Roman villa was and where all the artefacts were stored (in Keynsham, oddly enough!). I selected a dozen or so small artefacts, fibula brooches and the like and all was well.

And then it got complicated, you see it turned out the display case available for us to use was a lot bigger than we expected! What I had so far wasn’t going to be enough!

The next two weeks were a hive of activity, more artefacts were selected and the real hard work began, designing and making the display boards! The boards were a real challenge, the information had be accessible to people of all ages and knowledge levels as well as being easy to read and interesting to look at.

Quite a few re-writes and mock-ups later the boards were printed, the artefacts were packed and the labels made. Now was the fun part, setting it all up.

So was it worth it in the end? I think so.

The final product
The exhibition had around 5000 visitors over 5 days and I got lots of really positive feedback for my contribution! The experience was at times extremely frustrating (the display boards) but has given me a new appreciation for the displays in museums. Until you try to make one yourself it’s hard to appreciate how much work goes into a display.

I learnt a lot from this and I’m sure it’ll be much easier in the future!

So next time you visit a museum, why not take a moment to appreciate the hard work that has gone into creating that fantastic display?


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