Tuesday 7 June 2011

Exhibition open: “Unlocking the Celtic Collector”

Well, things are really getting hectic here in Carmichael corner. We are less than three weeks away from the conference (have you registered yet?) and concert (got your tickets?), there is tagging and cataloguing to finish, a website to complete, biographical records to write amongst other things and so it’s all systems go. At least we have now managed to tick one thing off our list. Our small exhibition on the life and work of Alexander Carmichael was installed on Tuesday 31 May and we are delighted to see it all in place in Special Collections’ display wall. It’s also good to see people taking time to look at the notebooks and pictures and read a bit about who Carmichael was.

As anyone who has ever curated an exhibition would tell you, there’s a lot more to getting it from idea to display case than meets the eye. Our captions and text panels were drafted by Domhnall Uilleam and Andrew; a large amount of practical expertise was given by Andrew Grout, Joe Marshall and Caroline Scharfenberg; the artwork and layout was designed by Iain Coates and David Roberts of Studio SP; the notebooks were conserved and made presentable with the combination of a National Manuscripts Conservation Trust Grant and Carronvale Bindery; and the exhibition was installed by Jenny Gypaki, Iain, David and Kirsty. Below are some photographs of the process of installation and in due course we will have impressive, official photographs, not my lowly attempts!
Of course, the best way to see the exhibition is to be there in person, which everyone is welcome to do. It is open from 1 June to 22 July 2011 and can be found in Special Collections, on the 6th Floor of Edinburgh University Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ. The Library is open seven days a week but times vary, so please check the website for details:

There is also a café on the ground floor so you can add a tea, coffee or even a bun into your itinerary for the day.
Sincerest thanks to everyone who helped to put this exhibition together – we do hope that all our visitors enjoy it.

The trolley loaded up with exhibits, exhibition paraphernalia, and ready to go
Empty cases waiting for decoration

The first exhibits in place and ready for captions, text panels and banners.

David and Jenny construct caption holders.

The printed banners are revealed - so much more impressive than on A4!

All in a day's work for Jenny, Iain and David.
The finished product as viewed by a phone snap.

Images: All photographs were taken by Kirsty Stewart, archivist,and belong to the Carmichael Watson Project.

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Stone whorls WHM 1992 13 2.4

Stone whorls WHM 1992 13 2.4
Stone whorls collected by Alexander Carmichael, held by West Highland Museum (ref. WHM 1992 13 2.4). [© carstenflieger.com]