Special collections pop-up exhibits: Two student curators’ perspectives

Greta Reisel Browning, Mandi Burnison, Kari Salisbury

Abstract

In December 2019, two student assistants in the Special Collections Research Center at Appalachian State University curated an in-person pop-up exhibit of rare and manuscript materials as part of the University Libraries’ “Library Cares” week-long exam study break program. The pop-up, entitled “Winter in Appalachia,” took place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in a high-traffic area on Belk Library and Information Commons’ first floor. The student curators were undergraduates who worked part-time at the reference desk in Special Collections and were supervised by the reference archivist, who served as their exhibit facilitator. This article is an interview with the student curators about their experience planning, preparing, and staffing the exhibit, and their evaluation of the event. We hope to be able to return to such events post-pandemic, but we have started to think about ways to incorporate student curation in a virtual world.

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Copyright Greta Reisel Browning, Mandi Burnison, Kari Salisbury

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