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Interpretive planning

Planning the exhibition layout

Find out what space you have:

  • What size are your exhibition cases, display boards or tables?
  • How many of them do you have?
  • How might you arrange them in the space?

Then divide the exhibition into sections. The sections might simply be based on your themes. Or your themes could run through each section (eg if each section is a date range or geographical area). Or it could be a mixture of the two.

Remember to include a section which welcomes visitors to the exhibition and briefly introducing its themes.

For example

  • Section 1 - Introduction
  • Section 2 - North End
  • Section 3 - Church Street etc

Now work through your list of items and decide which ones to include in each section. Your goals and objectives will help you decide what to include and what to leave out.

Planning the arrangement of items

A useful way to plan your arrangement is to mark out spaces which are the same size as your panels or cases, and then physically place the items into each space. You may need to make some final changes to the items which can be included at this stage.

When you are happy with the arrangement, take photographs to refer to when you finally install the exhibition.

Produce a final Interpretive planning inventory. This is a record that includes details of each item and its place in the exhibition. Download an example interpretive planning inventory template.

Interpretive planning survey:

Fill out this survey to let us know your thoughts on the interpretive planning guide.