Going Local: Creating Local History Exhibits Your Visitors Won't Forget

This five-part online workshop series teaches the fundamental skills and concepts needed to understand how to incorporate local Texas history stories into exhibits – especially traveling exhibits. The series begins by reviewing the vast array of Texas history resources available, moves on to discuss the fundamentals of interpretive planning and writing, and then, explores ways to make exhibit text more engaging and thought-provoking to visitors. After covering the basics the basics, we examine techniques for interpreting those difficult stories that make everyone squirm. Finally, the series ends with a session on how to select the most compelling images available and create a visually appealing and engaging exhibit. By the end of this series, participants will be well prepared to infuse local history stories into any exhibit – traveling, temporary, or permanent!

Instructor Erin McClelland has 15 years of experience in the interpretation and exhibit planning field. She currently serves as the Director of Operations for MuseWork, a full-service exhibit planning and design firm in Austin.

This workshop series is supported by the Texas Department of Transportation. Watch this video (17 minutes) to learn more about local history resources available from TxDOT.

Looking for technical guidelines related to exhibition design, such as fonts, materials, and production? This guidebook offers lots of helpful information.

Going Local: Creating Local History Exhibits Your Visitors Won't Forget is a collaboration between the Texas Historical Commission, Texas Department of Transportation, and Texas Association of Museums, and the Smithsonian Institution's Museum on Main Street program.

Water/Ways has been made possible in Texas by the Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens. Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a Smithsonian program that brings traveling exhibitions and humanities programs to small-town America. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.​