Archival Foote-steps: the Lewis B. Foote First World War photographs and approaches to digital exhibitions

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Slessor-Cobb, Danna
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The creation of exhibits and exhibit-going have been part of popular culture for centuries and have long been hallmarks of outreach to new audiences for archival services. With the explosion of digital technologies there are many new and exciting avenues for archivists to create exhibitions to display their collections and engage with their users. Websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler and Flickr as well as increasingly diverse website functionalities have greatly contributed to a new understanding of visual literacy both within and outside the archival profession. Web 2.0 technologies and web analytics have opened up opportunities for archives to curate their records in many different ways for much larger audiences. This study will examine how visual records, specifically the archival photographs from the Lewis B. Foote fonds at the Archives of Manitoba, could be used to commemorate the First World War and shape our understanding of it. During the centennial anniversary of the war it is important to study how such images relating to this conflict might be used today to create specific narratives for understanding it through archival outreach activities such as exhibitions. This can help us rethink the aims and characteristics of archival exhibitions, thereby shedding greater light on the role of archives in creating public memory and enhancing societal understanding of archives and their relevance to important public interests.
Archives, Photography, First World War, Winnipeg, L.B. Foote, Digital exhibitions, Web analytics, Web 2.0