Interthingy Historical Exhibits Philosophy

The Worldcon historical exhibits were first done for Noreascon 3 in 1989 and subsets of them have appeared at most Worldcons since then. Some new exhibits have been created (the Hugo Award exhibit at Magicon is an excellent example) and most of them have grown in size, but they have been broadly similar for fifteen years now, and they're getting a bit stale. What we're going to do for 2005 is to reinvent the historical exhibits to freshen them and make them interesting to someone who is new to fandom while at the same time worth a visit by a long-time fan who has seen the historical exhibits of the past fifteen years.  This year's work is a start, not a finish. If we do our work well this year, future Worldcons will continue the process.

Because we have relatively little time left, we will focus on creating a series of exhibits which each tell a story illustration some facet of SF or fandom. There'd be a narrative combined with artifacts from the Worldcon history exhibit collection. Let me give a couple of examples:

  1. Up through the early 70s, Worldcon bidding was a text-based, fairly low-key affair. [show examples of typical late 60s-early 70s bid materials]
  2. The bid for Kansas City in 76 changed all that: Fancy Tim Kirk graphics, clever continuing bid stories, etc. {illustrate from How the Grinch Stole Worldcon, other artifacts.]
  3. This continued in the convention's PRs [examples]
  4. Bidding hasn't been the same since [some post-76 artifacts.]


  1. Bidding used to be a simple affair with flyers, a button and a t-shirt. [examples]
  2. But then LA in 96 introduced collectables. [examples of their convention stickers -- maybe the whole set]
  3. Since then we've also had pro trading cards and merit badges. [examples, including the Chicon 2000 trading cards, maybe the LA 06 merit badges]

The key points are:

This is an idea to liven things up, it is not the only thing we'll do! For example, there'll be a Hugo exhibit, Fanac scanning station and doubtless some of the traditional exhibits will be used, also.

There are three things we want each exhibit to do:

I'd also like to post each of these exhibits permanently on the Web after the convention.

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