So our boss, State Records Deputy Director Jenni Stapleton, woke up at 3am one morning with a vision. This vision said rail, it said exhibition, it said Western Sydney Records Centre, it said Web 2.0 and it said website.
The streaming thoughts on this morning at 3am ran something along these lines:
- We have a great public space out at the Western Sydney Records Centre (WSRC) and have been looking for ways to use it to promote our collection.
- So why not re-visit an exhibition that had previously hung at the State Records Gallery in the city office?
- This Gallery space will no longer exist once the city reading room closes on June 30.
- All this lovely past exhibition material is starting to make its way to the WSRC…how can we use it rather than store it?
Making the vision a reality
Send an email out to all victims, sorry volunteers, congratulating them on their new membership to the “Aesthetics Committee” (carefully omitting the “Exhibition” word).
The committee meets to discuss this vision, some feeling a little trepidatious. They were not wrong to feel this way; there was a two week deadline for “vision realisation”.
Scare the bejesus out of a member of the conservation team by turning up in the Conservation Lab with a humungous poster measuring two and a half metres long with a large dent punched almost all the way through from the back.
Conduct an expedition to discover and locate items from previous exhibitions (no small matter given the size of the complex at WSRC; it’s so big our retrieval staff clock up roughly 14km a day.
Take supplies for long trek to store room…aha, we found display cases and a lounge, too!
The awesome team in digitisation work their magic and find some previously unused images for the exhibition. Blowing up postcard sized images to A3 sized posters proves challenging…
The amazing team in conservation work their magic to fix holes and inadvertently become experts in double-sided tape application to mount posters onto thick card.
More members of the Committee convince a lovely roofing guy (who happened to be here with a drill, a level, and a tape measure) to hang the pictures and posters.
Other Committee members tackle the double-sided tape posters.
Roof repairs also tackled.
Clean out display cases and start filling them with items. Print out labels for all items.
Go all out crazy and get a transparency poster printed up to hang on one of the front windows.
Sit on lounge and rest
Date of Vision: 27 April 2012
Installation Complete: 14 May 2012
This was a great collaborative effort across the whole organisation with “Aesthetics Committee” members coming from the Executive, Digitisition, Conservation, Information and Communication, Archives Control and Public Access. Special mention to our Facilities Manager, everyone’s go-to guy. Oh, and the lovely roofing guy!
And yes, it was fun.
Downstairs before installation
Downstairs after installation
Upstairs before installation
Upstairs after installation
Update July 2012: The Romance & Industry exhibition originally ran from August 2005 to February 2006 and was introduced in Vital Signs Issue 8 in the article Globalisation, Nostalgia & Cultural Heritage (PDF, 1.2mb). The Vital Signs magazine was published from March 2002 until September 2006 and had a significant impact on the cultural, archives and records management communities during the period.