Jamie Snyder and Lindsay Tallman have both spent their time as students engulfed in the history of the Old Governor’s Mansion. The two have now turned their work with the Mansion into an experience to create an exhibit from scratch with “10 Years Later: A Retrospective on the Mansion’s Restoration.”
“Working at the Mansion has given me so much experience in public history,” said Snyder, graduate assistant. “It’s such an eclectic mix of things to do— from walking tours to this opportunity to create an exhibit. Each day is so different and that’s what I’ve enjoyed the most.”
Snyder, along with junior history major Tallman, who is also an intern, created the exhibit in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the reopening of the Mansion after its restoration. The exhibit showcases different exterior and interior photographs, with text marking the restoration process of each space.
“I’ve loved the opportunity to get hands-on experience with creating an exhibit,” said Tallman. “I’ve always loved learning the history behind places and this exhibit allowed me to showcase that history as well as act to preserve a place that holds so much architectural history for the city.”
Snyder’s main responsibility in the project was creating the text and researching the restoration process, which she says gave her a deeper understanding of public history.
“A lot of research went into the exhibit,” said Snyder. “Lindsay found many of the photos to use, and I did research to write the text. It’s definitely been a collaborative process, and we both offered such different insights to the exhibit.”
Mansion Director Matt Davis gave the project to Snyder and Tallman during fall 2014. Davis says the collaboration between these two students is indicative of the Georgia College experience and also speaks to the history of the Mansion.
“We’re very proud of what they’ve created, and it fits perfectly with our existing interpretation. It’s also a testament to the liberal arts education offered at Georgia College— the fact that students can take what they learn in the classroom and carry it into the real world,” said Davis. “This exhibit is also a time of reflection for the Mansion and our staff to look back at the last 10 years— from our accreditation by the American Association of Museums to our recent naming as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.”
For Tallman, the exhibit has been a learning experience that has helped her shape her senior year.
“Right now I’m looking at internships and applying to intern at the Smithsonian,” said Tallman. “Being able to see the project from start to finish and see the completed project has made me so much more confident going forward.”
As Snyder graduates in May she, like Tallman, will use this experience to guide her in her future career.
“I know I want to go into the field of public history and working with the Mansion and all the experiences I’ve had here has only solidified that for me,” said Snyder.
The exhibit is free and open to the public and will be on display until May 31 at the Museum Education Building. For more information, contact the Mansion at 478-445-4545.