Online-Exhibit Project Overview


This project shall develop a method for Chicago Coin Club members to “create” a webpage holding images from one exhibit. The exhibit shall consist of a sequence of small “case images,” from which detailed close-up images can popup; each original case is approximately 32 inches wide and 20 inches tall.

Such a method would help a member construct a better exhibit by gathering suggestions and comments from other club members during the exhibit’s development.

The goal is to encourage the creation of exhibits suitable for display at an ANA convention. This method is not intended to replace the fine page on building an exhibit which reflects the accumulated exhibiting knowledge of late-ANA-member John R. Eshbach of Pennsylvania. Read that page!


The Howland Wood Memorial Award is given to the exhibit judged to be “Best of Show” at the ANA’s annual summer convention. Three exhibits that won this award are available on the ANA’s website. They are for:

These three exhibits are excellent examples of some methods of arranging an exhibit. However, the creation of these fine pages required the use of a high-resolution camera to photograph each case; each case had to be opened at night when the public was not in the hall; and the photographer was perched atop a ladder to obtain that perfect viewing angle. The close-up images of the items within a case were obtained after the convention, and do not always exactly match the case-view – sometimes, the close-ups were edited so that both sides of one coin are equal-sized in the same image, instead of the in-case use of one side of the actual coin located next to a photograph of the coin’s other side. These tasks take time and effort, which explains why only the Best of Show exhibit at a convention was preserved for history, and only in those three years.

These three webpages also are excellent examples of how to present “cases” of material on the web. However, they are written using an old version of HTML which needed add-on utilities to implement certain visual effects. This project shall use the latest version of HTML, which supports many visual effects, so that no add-on utilities shall be needed. Unfortunately, this means our produced pages will have visual effects that are not exactly the same as the effects on the ANA’s pages.

Hard Realities

Members do not have access to high-resolution cameras, great lighting, and large budgets. That is fine. This project will use “good enough” technologies such as a smart phone’s color camera to take pictures, both of a “case” as well as individual items.

The key for this project is a quick turnaround, from taking some pictures to obtaining feedback, in an iterative process: try something – keep it if it seems to work, otherwise try something else.

Therefore, the webpage for an exhibit shall be easy to create. The case and close-up images should be in files that are as small as possible while still showing all details. The close-ups of text boxes shall be images – maybe a photo of a hand printed sheet early on; maybe an early printed sheet once the text is mostly known; hand written corrections to the early printed sheet; and then a final printed sheet if desired.

The webpages will not be produced through an online program, or even a local program (at least not in the first years). The exhibitor will email pictures to a club volunteer, who will create the webpage with images having clickable parts that result is a close-up of that part. To simplify the volunteer’s workload, the guiding principle will be “quick and simple.” Once we have developed a method, then we will consider automating it – progress will come in increments.

An Example

Please look at a three-case exhibit used as a demonstration of our first (and only) presentation style; it had been shown competitively in 2018 in Philadelphia.

The background is creased and lumpy from being folded. The items were not aligned and they were spread out outside of the desired 32-by-20-inch area. The images were taken using a handheld smartphone camera, so some show keystoning and some are a little fuzzy. One case at a time was spread in front of a window for illumination, so the muted colors of the backgrounds are very muted. In spite of all that, the images are good enough to follow what the exhibit is saying. If a reviewer can follow what is being said, this is good enough for reviewing purposes.

What We Need

Now that we have a webpage design, we need two things:

Please contact Paul Hybert if you are an interested in having your exhibit reviewed or in reviewing some exhibits.

Other Uses

Once an exhibit has been shown, it does not have to be lost to history. The webpage could be updated with better pictures using good lighting, good perspective, and a steadier camera, but such a permanent record would require a better setup than most exhibitors have available, making for a more time- and labor-intensive effort.

Maybe, one day, there might even be online exhibit competitions.

Note: After we are comfortable using our method of producing webpages, we might consider investigating methods which implement different paradigms (such as magnifying the area of a case which is centered around the current cursor position). Emphasis on the word might.