This week at Anthracite Heritage Museum, I began the technical work of putting together the whole exhibit. All photographs are in their frames and almost everything is ready to be put on the walls. This week, I learned how to make the wall labels for each of the photographs. This was something completely new to me. The process involves double and triple checking the labels and making sure there are no misspellings and other errors. Then each label needs to be spaced with at least two inches on the word document. Once this is done, the whole word document can be printed out on the appropriate paper. Now comes the tedious part.
There is a product called positionable mounting paper, which is a adhesive that gets transferred from its original paper source to the back of the labels. To do this, I take one sheet of labels which has about three labels (two when it comes to Lewis Hine’s discursive titles) when spaced out. Then I roll out the mounting paper to expose the adhesive and position the paper, preferably the right-hand corner. After that, using a box cutter, I cut out paper and smooth is out repeatedly, using a flat tool that comes with the mounting paper, in different patterns. Then I pull the backing of the adhesive off slowly, transferring the adhesive to the back of the paper.
The next part of this process becomes harder. I first adhere the paper to the foam core and again smooth it out while checking for markings. Once finished, I use the box cutter and cut out the area of foam core that has the paper on it. I next divided the labels into sections (three or two depending on the amount of labels on the paper) and proceed to measure out the amount of space needed. Each label should about an inch to 3/4 of an inch of white space surrounding it. This can become tedious as it may take multiple measurements to make sure the cut is just right. An experienced person can do about 10 in one hour, finishing our exhibit in about 1 day. I am not experienced and took most of my day to do one sheet of foam core (about 12-15 labels).