Results tagged ‘ Records Room ’

Record builders

Carr_90.jpgBy Samantha Carr

Anyone who has ever purchased a piece of furniture and then couldn’t fit it through a door in their house knows that how you picture something isn’t always how it turns out.

02-03-11-Carr_OFTB.jpgSo on Thursday, a group of curators, exhibit designers and exhibit installers met on the third floor of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to view a mockup of an interactive display that will appear in the One for the Books exhibit opening May 27-28 in Cooperstown.

The process is called prototyping. Essentially, the process includes using a placeholder for a piece of an exhibit to see what it will be like when the real thing arrives. This week, the curators created a panel that was the same shape and size with similar graphics as a new interactive display that will explain top 10 record holders in the exhibit.

“We can have great ideas on paper, but there is no substitute for bringing the ideas to the exhibit space and working out the details,” said Tom Shieber, senior curator at the Baseball Hall of Fame. “We have to make sure that something like this, that is interactive, functions but also attracts people, is useful to the user and for other visitors in the room.”

One for the Books will celebrate the sacred records of baseball and the stories behind them. The exhibit will be the most technologically advanced permanent exhibit in the Museum’s 71-year history. It will feature an interactive visitor experience with multi-media elements and be located on the second floor of the Museum in the Hank Aaron Gallery. For the first time in the Hall of Fame’s history, the Museum is inviting fans to help support an exhibit by honoring their favorite record holder.

02-03-11-Carr_Aaron.jpgWhille the Hall of Fame’s curatorial team prepares for the exhibit opening, design and aesthetic elements are very important. The process of prototyping allows the curators to see how an exhibit will interact with the space, lighting, and shape of the room. For instance, in the case of this interactive, some of the lighting trusses that attach to the ceiling and lights the exhibit will hang too low over the interactive and be in the way. The team will have to remove the grid directly in front or find another solution.

Many times this practice will not change the substance of an exhibit, like the artifact or information in it, but it can change how the artifact is presented. Everything from colors, lighting, shadows and pillars need to be taken into account so that the curators can determine how a visitor will see the exhibit best.

“This is really an easy, early way to get a feel for problems you may encounter in the exhibit,” said John Odell, curator of history and research at the Hall of Fame. “We can look at something on paper, or on a computer, but being in the space makes a big difference.”

Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The picture of perfection

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

The pictures cover the full spectrum: from young man chasing his dream to veteran warrior chasing a ghost.

Those eyes — the eyes of Henry Aaron. They never stopped looking for greatness.

4-15-09-Muder_Aaron.jpgThe word “great” doesn’t begin to describe Aaron’s career, nor does it do justice to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s new exhibit Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream. Located on the Museum’s third floor in what was the Records Room, the exhibit is a worthy tribute to one of the game’s finest players.

From Aaron’s uniforms and bats — including those used to chase Babe Ruth‘s record of 714 home runs — to the brilliant photography, Museum visitors will be treated to a visual journey documenting Aaron’s Hall of Fame career on and off the diamond. It is a fitting tribute to a man who wore the crown of home-run king with grace, dignity and humility.

Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream opens April 25 at the Baseball Hall of Fame with an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Click here for more information.

Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Artifacts tell the story

Strohl_90.jpgBy Erik Strohl

This time of year is extremely busy for the Curatorial Department at the Hall of Fame. Our busiest time of year is the offseason because come April and Opening Day, all of our new exhibits are either planned or well under way, and maintenance on existing exhibits must be done on a yearly basis.

3-20-09-Strohl_AutmnGlory.jpgAmong the many existing exhibits in need of updating in the offseason are: Autumn Glory, the exhibit focused on the World Series; the Records Room, which lists statistics of career and active record-holders in both pitching and hitting; and the Major League Baseball awards, featuring honors such as the Gold Glove and Cy Young Awards. We also do a fair amount of digital curatorial work, updating Hall of Famer databases and Web content.

We have a unique position as curators because when something is incorrect in our exhibits, our visitors let us know. That shows the passion that baseball fans have for the game and its history. Many fans come in and may be more knowledgeable than we are on a specific topic or team like the 1950s Cleveland Indians or the current state of Minor League franchises for the Chicago Cubs. The strength that our curatorial team has is a vast general knowledge as well as the resources at our fingertips to gain more information. Our fans always keep us on our toes to make sure our information is accurate and up to date.

The fun part about working at the Hall of Fame is you can go home and watch baseball on television and say it’s your job — because it is. So that is something that I will never get tired of. Sometimes you just have to sit back and smile because you get paid to do baseball.

In April, we will be opening Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream which will be a retrospective of his entire career. Up until this point, the only person who has had an entire exhibit dedicated in his honor had been Babe Ruth.

3-20-09-Strohl_Records Room.jpgThe exhibit will cover Aaron‘s youth, growing up playing baseball to his career in the Negro leagues with the Indianapolis Clowns and the Minor Leagues in Eau Claire (Wis.) and Jacksonville (Fla.). It will obviously look at his Major League career, which is what we have focused on in the past.

We will also cover his post-baseball career and really talk about his business and philanthropy efforts for the first time. Many people may not realize the impact Aaron has had both domestically and internationally since he retired. He really used the celebrity and iconic status that he earned as a player to make a larger difference off the field.

The artifacts in this exhibit are unbelievable. Most have been donated by Aaron himself — in fact 85-90 percent of the artifacts that will be on display come from Aaron. He has been extremely generous with us. All of his records, particularly the chasing of Babe Ruth’s career home-run record, will be covered extensively.

This new permanent exhibit will become a part of our new massive expansion of our Records Room over the next few years which will eventually be called the Hank Aaron Hall of Records. Permanent exhibits are really only changed every 10-20 years, so this is truly historic. Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream will open April 25.

Our second large-scale exhibit opening this year is °Viva Baseball!, slated to debut May 23. This is an exhibit we have been wanting to do, and its subject matter becomes more prevalent every year in the modern game. This is the story of Latinos in baseball and the impact on the game that Latinos have had.

It will be located in the second-floor timeline around the 1960s. It will be a room covering the history of baseball in most of the Latin-American countries where baseball is played as well as the cultural transition that baseball has had and the impact players have had on Major League Baseball today.

- For more from Erik, visit the Hall’s Official Blog at

Erik Strohl is the senior director of exhibits and collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.


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