For the "about" assignment, the first step is to collect all the information about your object. Start with your copy of the interview questions and their answers -- fill in any blanks. Be sure the physical description is as complete as possible -- weight, dimensions, materials of which made, maker, date of making. Many objects include small parts of different materials, or, if they are containers, have contents or traces of former contents. Leave nothing off.

Then it's time to consider the narrative description. The slide-show on Writing effective Museum Text is a good place to start. So, think about the audience for an exhibit in which your object, as well as those of other students, might be displayed. You'll need to decide what the most important facts about the object are, explain its use (assuming that museum-goers will know nothing of you or your history), account for any significant features (damage, wear, stains, etc.), and assign it to a place and period. What would a typical person of the period do with such an object? What's different about what you have done? What additional significance does this object have for its owner (you)?

The final placard should look somewhat the one pictured here, though the description should be much briefer -- no more than 150 words.

Once you and others in your group have completed your individual placards, you'll be ready for the next step, which is to design a room in which your several objects can be displayed, along with the title or your exhibition and a longer description -- but that's for next week!

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