Introducing our new exhibition, “The Golden Age of Radio in the US”

By Hillary Brady, June 4, 2014.

Today, I am happy to share an exhibit I have worked on as part of my research assistantship with DPLA: “The Golden Age of the Radio in the US.” It is a look at the development and rise of the radio and its greater impact on American culture. In this post, I wanted to briefly describe my process for working on the exhibition, from the planning phase down to putting the images online.

My work on what would become “The Golden Age of Radio in the US” exhibit began with a perusal of the expansive DPLA collections. Part of my research assistantship at DPLA, beyond working on this exhibit, is selecting items to feature on the DPLA twitter account. I was thinking about potential exhibit ideas, and came upon some interesting items that all had to do with radio, music, and pop culture. When it came time to come up with a theme for the next DPLA exhibit, I narrowed down my ideas and came back to radio as my central focus.

The exhibit itself started with that idea, and went through several subsequent stages before the final product was released today. This included selecting all of the images—casting a wide net across the millions of items available through DPLA, then selecting potential items to use for the exhibition. While Assistant Director for Content Amy Rudersdorf worked with the hubs to secure rights to use the images for the exhibition, I researched the radio—its development, its rise, its impact on American life. Once the text and items were finalized, I uploaded and organized them into the exhibition using Omeka, an online publishing system for cultural institutions.

This is a product months in the making, and has benefited greatly from the generous guidance and support of the entire DPLA staff, particularly my supervisors Franky Abbott and Kenny Whitebloom. I’m excited to share the exhibit, which began as an item of note during an afternoon searching DPLA, and ended up becoming a core learning experience in my time as a research assistant.

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