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Evolving English

In Museums, new content on November 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm

A new exhibition opens at the British Library tomorrow, all about the English language. I was involved in the project as a consultant, earlier this year. I wasn’t working on the content for the exhibition – I was undertaking what’s known as ‘formative’ evaluation on the exhibition prospect – research into what people would expect in an exhibition about the English language and testing out some ideas they had for how the exhibition might be put together.

It was also a chance for the library to show people the design concept and to test it out on potential visitors. It’s a good idea sometimes to take a step back and ask someone who has no involvement in the project what they think of your plans. And it’s often a very useful exercise.

After chairing some focus groups (in March 2010) I then fed back to the library with a series of conclusions about how the exhibition was perceived at that time. The British Library has been putting the finishing touches to their exhibition in the meantime and the resulting show opens tomorrow morning. I’ll be there – perhaps not tomorrow, but soon – to see what’s been going on behind the scenes and what the exhibition has in store for us.

Evolving English is at the British Library 12 November 2010 – 3 April 2011.
There’s also a great quiz on the BL website, where you can test how much you know about our language.

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