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The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which will mark its 150th anniversary in 2013, wanted to display two historical collections that would highlight its unique heritage, mission, and traditions.
The OCC planned to display the exhibits at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., but also intended to ship them to district offices and off-site events. The exhibits had to be high-quality, historically accurate, attractive, and portable. Finally, the OCC needed them within a relatively short, six-month time frame.
The OCC contracted with History Associates to help manage the project, develop the exhibit content, and oversee the design, production, and final installation of the exhibits.
One of the exhibits would highlight the legacy of Lawrence O. Murray, the 12th Comptroller of the Currency, interpreting a collection of artifacts recently donated to the OCC. The second exhibit would showcase a collection of vintage postcards of bank buildings gathered over many years by a former OCC bank examiner.
In preliminary project discussions, History Associates helped clarify the significance of the collections, develop the underlying themes, and determine specific artifacts to be used that supported the storyline. They raised questions that helped determine design specifications. The resulting design concept called for two commercial pop-up exhibits with illustrated panels, a free-standing case vitrine for displaying an artifact from the Murray collection, and a touch-screen interactive that could allow users to browse the postcard collection.
History Associates staff and OCC subject matter experts collaborated to write the script, select the images for the panels, and coordinate with a graphic designer to refine the display concept.
Once the OCC approved the script and design, History Associates arranged to have full-scale mock-ups of the portable exhibits and working production files for the interactive display delivered to the OCC for approval. This gave the OCC a chance to submit final revisions before fabrication began, based on a good sense of what the final product would look like. “Seeing a life-sized mock up was extremely helpful,” noted Dr. Jesse Stiller of the OCC. “It enabled us to better fit the text to the panels and make for a more engrossing experience for visitors. History Associates’ recommendations helped to improve the look and impact of the display.”
The final exhibits were delivered to the OCC on time and on budget. They are currently on display at the OCC headquarters in Washington, D.C., after returning from two major agency conferences.
Call us at (301) 279-9697 or contact History Associates for a customized proposal.