Recommendation: resources from National Services

In my experience of the content corner of the museum world, things move quickly. Once you’ve finished one project, it’s on to the next exhibition or event ad or fact sheet or activity guide. It can be hard to make time for professional development when the day-to-day is so fast-paced and full of things that need doing.

I used to try and block out ‘no meeting Fridays’ to read a relevant publication, see what other institutions were up to or discover any applicable new thinking. It didn’t work every week… in fact, it probably didn’t work most weeks. But some weeks I did get to spend the time researching, reading and note-taking at a feverish pace.

On one of these learn-athons, I came across a bunch of National Services Te Paerangi resources that I found really useful. They’re developed here in New Zealand, but also have heaps of greats tips for those outside this county.

Probably the resource I used most was the Writing Effective Interpretive Text – He Rauemi Resource Guide. This focuses on exhibition interp and covers things like audience, tone and voice, as well as a very practical table of different types of labels (including suggested word counts, which can be really useful when trying to explain why so much text needs to be cut).

There are plenty of other guides here and here, covering content, design and more. If you’ve got some time, they’re well worth checking out.

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