ABSTRACT

Why talk about creativity? What tools might cultural knowledge workers such as librarians and archivists have at hand that would fuel the creative effort required for making a digital exhibit? This chapter is focused on process more than product. It asserts that the substantive tasks that go into making an effective exhibit require some degree of creativity. The first question that should be addressed is what is meant by “creativity” generally and in this context? This chapter will open with a brief, selective tour of several of models of creativity relevant to building digital exhibits for cultural heritage organizations. These theories will be applied to better understand and engage with some common creative challenges often encountered within this kind of work. Next, some examples of generic metaphors used in digital and physical exhibits as organizing structures will be analyzed as sources of inspiration. This chapter will look at exhibit work as an inherently creative practice and what that perspective means on both individual and institutional levels. Throughout the chapter points will be illustrated through some notable digital and physical exhibits that can serve as models and sources of inspiration.