Behind-the-scenes: Level 5 exhibits

We’ve been in our new building for 5 months now and for most of that time, we have looked at boring, empty walls outside the double doors of our processing room on the staff level. Until now! We’ve recently put up a few exhibits to not only entertain us but also to inform and entertain our many visitors and tour groups.

Here, we have chosen 5 of our Bill Workman photos to exhibit. Every photo tells a story of life in South Carolina in the mid-20th century, from tobacco farmers and beauty queens to old churches and lost towns. We have about 20 in our stacks so perhaps we’ll rotate them in and out. Three of us had a hard time choosing just five.

picture of 5 photos in the hallway
We also put up an exhibit about what happens to the archival material we receive from the time it arrives at our door to the point at which it’s available to researchers. This process is a mystery to most non-archival folks, honestly, thus the need for the exhibit! The 1st case explains what boxes look like upon arrival and what we do with them initially.

Some arrive relatively neat, as in this picture. (Others arrive messy…shhh…we prefer the neat ones.)
photo of exhibit

The boxes arrive with a variety of material inside, as seen here…
photo of exhibit
The 2nd case explains how we arrange and describe the papers. We take notes on what we find, we write a finding aid, we edit the finding aid, we put the papers into folders and boxes, and finally, we make a web page to present the collection to the world! (There’s more to it but this doesn’t really need to be the world’s nerdiest blog post.)photo of exhibit

We certainly have PLENTY of bare walls left but for now, at least, we have injected a little more atmosphere into our hallways.

–contributed by Lori Schwartz

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