A common criticism of online exhibitions is that they will never replicate “the real thing.” This is understandable given that many online exhibitions are “uncritical adaptations” of the physical that overlook the potential of the digital. Additionally, the idea of visiting a physical exhibition is so familiar to us in the twenty-first century that it is easy to forget there was a time when this experience did not exist, just as there was a time when the form of the book did not exist. Indeed, theories and practices of exhibition-making have a long history and continue to evolve in line with the needs of audiences and in response to external challenges. So, what can we do now that we previously could not? What can online exhibitions do that physical presentations cannot? In this article, we explore the history of book exhibitions and of the material appeal of books from the medieval period to the present day. We then analyze types of online exhibitions using Johanna Drucker’s theoretical framework for interpretative interfaces and propose a new methodology for the development and display of online exhibitions that takes advantage of the curatorial “junctions” that can be made by modeling data to an ontology.
Rodwell, Julia C. and Welch, Anna
"Aura and Access: Toward a New Methodology for Book Exhibitions in the Digital Realm,"
Antipodes: Vol. 35:
1, Article 15.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol35/iss1/15