Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Web Exhibit: History of Product Packaging at Hagley

An exhibit on the "History of Product Packaging" represents an ongoing joint effort between the Hagley Museum and Library and the History Department at the University of Delaware. Professor Katherine Grier's graduate students at the University of Delaware researched and wrote papers on the topic, using the Hagley's resources. Then one of those students, John Vanek, created the Web exhibit.  The exhibit seeks to highlight questions such as "Where do product packages fit into the history of advertising and branding? To changes in technology? To the growth of consumerism? To shifting social values?" The exhibit details the history of consumer packaging in the United States over the last 150 years, with text and materials arranged under topics including "Self-Service," "Branding," and "Afterlives." When Professor Grier teaches History 867 again, a new group of students will research more objects from the Hagley collections, and the exhibit will be expanded accordingly.