The University of Houston-Clear Lake's Archive Center introduces its first foray into the world of online digital exhibits.
"Academic Laurels: 20th Anniversary Commemoration Quilt" is the first permanent archive exhibited on the library's Web site.
"We wanted to explore the idea of doing an online exhibit," said Shelly Henley Kelly, university archivist. "We've never done one before. We wanted to start with something small and the quilt just seemed like a very good idea. We had a very large scrapbook that the quilters had donated with lots of photographs, texts and newspaper clippings from all the publicity that they had."
Kelly and Anna Peebler, archivist assistant, are the main creators of the online exhibit. The creation of their first exhibit took nine months to complete and was assisted by Karen Berish, electronic resource reference librarian, and Brent Gaucher, multimedia specialist.
"The initial research, writing and design were done between January and April," Kelly said. "It was ready to go but we decided to put in the audio clips. The audio clips took an additional five months to get worked in."
The Academic Laurels Quilt was created by 12 UH-Clear Lake volunteer faculty and staff as a lasting piece of permanent artwork for the university's 20th anniversary. More than 1,000 hours went into making the quilt with 25 volunteers quilting, including former Texas Govenor Ann Richards. It took approximately 18 months to complete the quilt.
The design for the Academic Laurels quilt was carefully chosen to represent the university. A medallion wreath centered on the quilt represents the university as a whole and the four corners of the quilt have separate wreaths representing the Schools of Business and Public Administration; Education; Natural and Applied Science; and Human Sciences and Humanities.
The central medallion contains symbols the committee felt best represented the characteristics of UH-Clear Lake: A laurel wreath to symbolize excellence; books and a torch to symbolize learning; and a diploma and mortarboard to recognize student achievement.
Judy Chapmon, senior business coordinator in the president's office, devoted nine hours to the creation of the quilt and used her prior quilting experience to help the team of volunteer quilters.
"The opportunity to work on the university quilt was very exciting," Chapmon said. "I have sewn a lot in past years but had never worked with a group in making a quilt so it was also a learning experience. The art of designing the quilt was amazing in how Judy Cloninger found fabric that had designs that could be cut out and appliqued to create the quilt top that tells a story about our school."
The online exhibit touched Chapmon and reminded her of her time working on the quilt.
"I was really excited when the archivist told me about their plans to create an electronic exhibit of the making of the quilt," Chapmon said. "I believe this exhibit has renewed the interest in the quilt, how it was created and its pictorial history of our UHCL campus, and I hope that people will take the time to visit the Web site. Viewing the exhibit brought back many enjoyable thoughts and fond memories of the people who worked together to help create the quilt especially since several of the group has left the university."
Future exhibits showcasing on the library's Web site will highlight other points of interest to the university archive pages.
"We expect the site to be up permanently but that's up in the air right now," Kelly said. "We have many ideas of what to exhibit but its just ideas we haven't outlined yet."
To view the Academic Laurels: 20th Anniversary Commemoration Quilt online exhibit, visit its Web page at: nola.cl.uh.edu/quiltmain.html. Audio clips and pictures on the site further explain the creation and meaning of the quilt.
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