Labour History

Creating ‘A Lot on Her Hands’

Labour History (2003), 85, (1), 89–101.

Abstract

‘A lot on her hands - the history of Australian working women’ is an exhibition, one of 43 major projects funded through the Queensland Heritage Trails Network program with support from the Centenary of Federation initiative. The Network aimed to create a series of heritage attractions throughout Queensland as a means of preserving and promoting the State’s natural, indigenous and cultural heritage and developing educational resources, creating jobs, stimulating development and fostering tourism. This article explores the experience of developing an historical statement in this format, in this context and under the pressures of a consultancy of this kind. It examines the effect of the team approach to projects such as this, which are the cumulative result not only of researchers, but also of designers and preparators. It also discusses the nature of historical argument in the museum context, arguing that the task here is more about evoking the nature of experience than advancing an explanation of historical events and processes. The article notes also that the statements in an exhibition are non-linear and only partly verbal in nature; that this exhibition was also influenced by its setting and the celebratory nature of its sponsorship; and that the aim of the researcher and curator to focus on the particularity of experience of a range of individuals was, in the event, only partly achieved in the final product.

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Details

Author details

Crozier, Brian

Gregory, Helen

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