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  • 1.  Interactive Exhibit

    Posted 10-11-2021 07:11 PM

    Hello Everyone,

    I represent a very small Historical Museum on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Throughout the summer we have many visitors who like to tell us how much they love LBI, how long they have been coming to the island, and some even identify family members in our many photos of the people who lived here in the past. I would like to arrange an interactive exhibit where visitors can share their stories and in turn read other visitors' stories as well.  Since all our staff are volunteers, I am limited as to how I can go about doing this. If anyone has any ideas to share, I would greatly appreciate it.

     Thank  you,

    Denise Cleveland Ed.D

    Long Beach Island HIstorical Museum

    Beach Haven, NJ

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 2.  RE: Interactive Exhibit

    Posted 10-12-2021 08:27 AM
    It may not be the sleekest way, but can you use Zoom, Teams, or something and record some oral history and storytelling sessions? People can share their stories, images, etc. With a little bit of editing, you at least have the foundations of a project.

    Pre-plan with a set of questions for interviewers as well as guidelines for all involved.

    The best practice for oral histories is to complete a transcription - there is a software called Descript that is not very expensive and can help to speed this process along. Transcription provides a backup record to the oral history should anything ever happen to the original footage.

    Check out the Oral History Association for resources and best practices:

    Julie Arrison-Bishop
    MuseumTastic - Fantastic work for small museums and nonprofits
    Beverly, MA

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 3.  RE: Interactive Exhibit

    Posted 10-12-2021 11:22 AM
    This is such a lovely idea, Denise! My hometown of Gloucester, MA is a summer destination as well. So many fond memories of the ocean...

    I'd love to show you how you can solicit and share stories (written, auditory, visual) with Artwork Archive's Public Profile. It's a great tool for connecting with your community. We have small museums, art centers, hospital art programs, public art programs and more using our platform to collect and share out their cultural heritage. 

    I'm out of town this week but can connect next week (10/18-10/21).

    Best of luck with the project!

    Elysian McNiff Koglmeier
    (978) 290-2732

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 4.  RE: Interactive Exhibit

    Posted 10-12-2021 02:01 PM

    Hello Dr. Cleveland,

    It seems the best way to approach this is with a computer display in kiosk mode (really a web browser without the toolbar and frame). All necessary buttons would be within the browser window. To save money, they could be activated by a mouse, but the interactive would also work on a touch screen.


    The image on the opening screen should be both enticing and clear as to what the interactive does. I recommend a nice photo-montage of people on the island, past and present. The title needs to be simple and clear, so people know right away that there are good stories to hear, and that they can add their own.


    A button labeled "Add Your Voice" would send the visitors to a recording screen, where they can record their stories and hear them, to see if they like how they sound. It might be nice to use a vintage, heavy-duty microphone (or at least its body and windscreen), both for durability and for nostalgia.

    There could be a form set up where visitors can add their names, if they like, or any other useful information to help categorize the stories. All fields would be optional, of course, for privacy reasons (or in case a visitor is in the Federal Witness Protection Program). At the top of the form would be a label that says "Help put your story in context." Then below it, another label that says "(But you can skip this step and go right to record by clicking here.)", right above a button that says "Skip".


    The interactive could record the voices, and save the recordings for later playing by other visitors. It could be set up with the option to re-record, in case the visitor doesn't like the first take. I think it would be a good idea for the interactive to save all takes, in case you think one is better than another. You can then pick the best one and save it.


    The stories would end up in a directory the visitors can see on a window that pops up when visitors click on or touch the button labeled "Hear the Stories". Each story can have a name that indicates what sort of story it is.


    For the hearing impaired, you could use voice-to-text to make text versions of the stories, which would be available in another window labeled "Text Versions". That need not be incorporated directly in the interactive for live recording, as you can add those text versions later.


    It would be a good idea to put this interactive in a quiet area, or at least shielded by some sort of enclosure or dome, to block outside noises.




    Paul Pallansch
    Up-Close Realism
    Silver Spring MD

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 5.  RE: Interactive Exhibit

    Posted 10-13-2021 12:32 AM

    Hello, Denise:

    For a participatory exhibit element that does not involve technology, how about creating a wall or an album of postcard reminiscences? Visitors choose from blank cards (or ones you have pre-printed), fill them out and tack them up. You can have themes like "Wish You Were Here" or "Vacation Memories" or "Souvenir of Long Beach Island," and so on. 

    Melanie Solomon

    Melanie Solomon

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 6.  RE: Interactive Exhibit

    Posted 10-14-2021 04:21 AM
    Edited by Eddie Carbin 10-14-2021 04:24 AM

    Hi - A lot of good ideas here for a participatory exhibit. In the short term, the urgency for your vision is to capture the data while the people are there, and down the road, you can develop a creative way to play it back for your visitors.

    There are many ways to make a small, inexpensive kiosk and play videos and sounds today. You can avoid a kiosk altogether and place QRCodes around the house, and visitors scan the code and view the content on their phones. I also developed a concept for another participatory exhibit where visitors can send text msgs and images to a server and a monitor located in the museum would randomly display the messages in a slideshow.

    I am a creative technologist with a soft spot for historic houses and am open to exploring this idea further with you.
    This idea reminds me of an exhibit I created for another historical house. The museum recorded stories from some of the last family members to live in the house.

    You can check out my work here.

    eddie carbin
    emeryville CA

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 7.  RE: Interactive Exhibit

    Posted 10-14-2021 09:44 AM
    One simple way to create something like this would be to use a website building tool like WordPress or Wix. Most website creation tools have pre-built components and plug-ins for collecting feedback from visitors, along with curation tools. If you don't want this to be a public site, for whatever reason, you can make the site private and access it via internal kiosks only. Using a Brightsign player or even Rasberry Pi, you can set up a kiosk that will only access your private HTML page. You can accomplish a great deal with HTML and clever design. The technology is relatively simple. It's the design that's hard.

    There are some things you still can't do with web software that might require an OS-based application (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) but not many, especially if the  delivery is local-only and running on dedicated systems.

    I'm would be more than happy to discuss the details of how you might DIY this. I love conceiving simple solutions! Feel free to call me at 202-871-8350, or just message me with questions.

    Tod Hopkins
    Technical Director
    Hillmann & Carr Inc.
    Washington DC

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more