1. An overview of your approach to collecting and curation, an explanation of the order in which you have chosen to sequence/present your artifacts in the archive/inventory, and the general themes of your project,
2. A description of what you did, how you made choices about what to include or exclude, and what issues, points of emphasis, and questions can be drawn from the finished product,
3. Interwoven with 1 and 2, a description of each of the thematic through-lines/arguments/stories/etc. according to which you have organized your “front-room” exhibits and a brief rationale for why they make sense. You should think about these as different stories/analytics/narratives/arguments (pick one that works for you intellectually!) that draw on the evidence (in the form of different artifacts) to outline distinct ways of experiencing and making sense of your collection. Again, you might think of these as the deeper brochure description, the artist’s statement, and/or the paragraphs of (con)text stenciled on the gallery walls, that often accompany museum exhibits.
4. A brief description of how you would frame each “exhibit” in interdisciplinary terms (How might different disciplines make sense of the artifacts in your exhibit in different ways? What are the potential overlaps between multiple disciplines in and across these? And which disciplinary intersections are most useful to you in framing the artifacts and themes, thinking through and calling attention to the kinds of knowledge that could be made thinkable or evidenced by your collection? How so?).
5. The inclusion and light synthesis (as in, you should draw on them to support and illustrate your claims, but lightly with paraphrasing and no huge block quotes—your thinking and your artifacts should be the stars!!) of at least 4 scholarly articles which help you contextualize, ground, or support aspects of your work. These scholarly articles could be around specific themes or artifacts, but could also be about the process of archiving and curating itself.
Just to re-iterate, this framing essay is not the same as a description of your artifacts/fragments themselves. THAT should be in the descriptions/stories/contextualization in your “backroom” collection. The framing essay should implicitly tie into/flow from/overlap with those descriptions but is more “meta” and overarching.
(6-7 double-spaced pages, 12 point font, 1-inch margins) which provides a guide to and an overarching narrative for the collection of artifacts you have assembled.