Monday, December 29, 2014

Curating a Diversity Exhibition

A few months ago, I curated a virtual exhibition about the history of diversity at my institution, Oakland University.  Founded in 1959 by Matilda Dodge Wilson, Oakland University has continuously pursued a diversity agenda for over 50 years. Oakland University Archives is replete with photographs and other documents that illustrate this very compelling diversity narrative.

This was my first (but hopefully not my last) venture into Archives and Special Collections. I'm not a trained archivist. I don't know the technicalities of processing archives collections. I hardly knew archives terminology. But I was immediately impressed by the sheer number of artifacts and by the unknown origins of many photographs.  I had entered a foreign land, and I became a much better information specialist for having visited it.

I am proud to have curated this exhibit. I chose and scanned the documents. I added entries to the timeline. I created metadata. But this project wouldn't have come to fruition without the extensive help of library colleagues and university stakeholders, including librarians Barbara Shipman, Julia Pope, Nicole Lane, and Rachel Dineen; archives assistant Shirley Paquette and archives coordinator Professor Dominique Daniel. I received much help from the Center for Multicultural Initiatives and Professor De Witt S. Dykes, Jr.

For more information about Oakland University Archives, please visit this site.

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