Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quick Exhibit Resource Roundup

These are hard times in the museum biz.  It upsets me to read about museums being assailed by governments and politicians, and even more so to hear about museum layoffs or closings.

But as I say to my kids, you can either lie down in the road, or do something about it.  So, here's a simple thing I'm doing through this blog posting: listing some great free resources that can help you stretch your limited exhibit/museum schedules and budgets.

1) ExhibitFiles
This is a webspace maintained by ASTC and partially funded by the National Science Foundation that serves as a community site for exhibit designers and developers.  ExhibitFiles is an excellent place to find inspiration and information from colleagues around the world.  It is also a great way to share background about your own exhibits projects and to offer reviews of exhibitions you have seen.  If you're not already a member, sign up today!

2) Free digital "back issues" of the Exhibitionist
NAME (The National Association for Museum Exhibition) in addition to its other services to the museum field, has started to provide an online archive of its journal, The Exhibitionist.  Even if you are not a member of NAME, you can download previously published articles and entire back issues at the NAME website.

3) The Great Big Exhibit Resource List
This is an ever-growing resource list of suppliers (maintained by yours truly) for all things exhibits and museums.  The compendium is divided up into categories like "Fake Foods" "Electronics" and "Science Supplies."  If you have a suggestion for something to add to the GBER just email me.

4) Exhibits Exchange Group
This free Google group is a place for individuals and museums to list "used but usable" exhibits and exhibit items.  Everyone likes a bargain, and I'm sure museum folks hate to see a perfectly good exhibit get tossed, simply due to lack of space.  So head on over to the Exhibits Exchange and see what's available, or post something yourself.

5) Instructables
This is a wonderful website that shares step-by-step instructions and parts lists for making all sorts of high and low tech gizmos, and "crafty" items as well.  Well worth a look for both instruction and inspiration.

I hope you'll be able to put these resources to good use.  Have we missed one of your favorite exhibit or design resources?  Share the details in the "Comments Section" below!

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