The exhibition that I decided to review is Rainbows and Plunge Pools-An Angler’s Alphabet from Cornell University’s Albert R. Mann Library. The exhibition’s focus is the art of fishing through an exploration of different texts, topics, and people who are instrumental figures in fishing history. Installed in April of 2011, this online exhibition is very pleasing to the eye.
The reader is first led to a main page, which features a beautiful title in black bold letters, as well as a picture of a fish. Navigating through the exhibition is very systematic because clicking anywhere on this main page will lead the reader to the introduction page. The introduction page gives a short synopsis of what the exhibition features. The synopsis is not only sweet and short, but also filled with puns to make the reader laugh. For example, the synopsis ends with “So join us as we meander up the alphabet – it’s as promising a stream as any, and you never know what we might catch.”
The exhibit features a different object for each letter of the alphabet, and clicking on one of the letters on the bottom leads to a page about that object along with an image. For example, clicking on P will lead to a small subpage with a description and image of a plunge pool. Similarly, clicking on W will lead to a page about Woolly Bugger, a widely used wet fly to attract fish.
The exhibit’s set-up leads to a very interesting experience for the reader. The introduction page does a good job of capturing the reader’s attention. The first thing it says is “Come get hooked!”.
This is a humorous introduction and does a good job drawing in an audience who may not necessarily be interested in or invested in the art of fishing. These readers may simply be browsing in order to learn about a new topic.
Also, there are beautiful letters of the alphabet that run across the bottom of each page. At first, I was confused by the letters and thought they were simply a design. Later, while clicking around, I discovered that each letter leads to a page corresponding with it. This was quite unintuitive because the appearance of the letters doesn’t give any indication that they are links.
A great characteristic of this exhibit is that the reader can access any page, regardless of which page they are currently viewing. However, a downside is that the reader can’t sort through what types of objects that want to see. For example, if I wanted to only look at archival texts about fishing, there is no way for me to select to see all the options. Regardless, the exhibition is unique and has a lot to offer. Three scales up for this job!