April 15-18, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Demonstrations: Description

Bringing documents to life

Vivian Ducat, Ducat Media, USA

A website created for the New-York Historical Society was tasked with bringing life and younger audiences to an exhibition of original documents associated with the constitutional convention held in Poughkeepsie, New York, 1788. Although the elements of a good story are there---a relatively short period of time, a transformation from rejection of the constitution to its embrace as well as excellent oratory and good characters, much of this would be lost to viewers of the exhibitions presented with the texts of the arguments pro and con and paintings and busts from the period. The collaboration of the team from Ducat Media with the curators brought about a website in which video was used to present the deep enthusiasm of the scholar/guest-curators, a timeline structure embracing the entire site was used to emphasize the importance of time as a key element in the story, and feature pages about location (Poughkeepise) about women and other elements of the story that would otherwise have been lost gave the digital exhibition its own identity and power.

Demonstration: Demonstrations 2 [Close Up]

Keywords: constitution, documents, Poughkeepsie, Federalists, documentary, New York