Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Exploring Nineteenth-Century Exhibitions
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour sessions
Seminars / Tutorials Individual 10-minute 'feedback tutorial' per written assignment submitted


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word source analysis  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  20%
Semester Assessment 1 x 5,000 word project  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word supplementary (resit) source analysis  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  20%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 5,000 word supplementary (resit) project  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

On completion, students should be able to:
demonstrate familiarity with a body of historical knowledge relating to exhibition and technology in nineteenth-century Britain

demonstrate an understanding of a range of approaches to the study of nineteenth-century exhibitions, including the application of perspectives from other disciplines

read, analyse and reflect critically on primary texts, both archival and printed

construct and sustain historical arguments orally (not assessed), and in writing (assessed), and to do so with reference to specific primary sources

work both independently and collaboratively and to participate in group discussion (not assessed)

Brief description

This module will develop students? critical awareness of historical sources and methods of research through examination of a range of sources relating to nineteenth-century exhibitions. It looks at how popular shows and exhibitions have operated as ways of classifying, domesticating and making sense of the exotic and unusual. It looks at the relationship between the historical development of the exhibition and the rise of consumer culture through the nineteenth century. Through panoramas, magic lantern shows, galleries of practical science and industrial exhibitions audiences learned how to see the alien as part of their own culture, how to understand scientific and technological progress and how to participate in commodity culture.


This module provides an introduction to nineteenth-century exhibition culture, the material culture of exhibitions and the audiences that attended them. This is a Skills module, the aim of which is to provide second year students with an opportunity to hone skills and approaches applicable to further study in history, irrespective of chronological or geographical focus.


1. Theoretical Reflections
2. Panoramic Vision
3. Science on Show
4. How Does He Do It?
5. The Great Exhibition
6. The Architecture of Display
7. Domesticating Nature
8. Technological Sublime
9. The Art of Projection
10. Animated Photographs

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be presented with some statistical data during the seminars and the appropriate use of such statistics will form part of the assessment of the written work.
Communication Locating and assessing primary source materials. Assessed through the essays.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given on improving students¿ research techniques and essay writing skills.
Information Technology Locating source materials and surveying the historiography on the subject uses of various search tools. Essay-writing and presentation
Personal Development and Career planning This module will help develop written and oral skills. Other activities, including research, assessment of information and writing in a critical and clear manner, will further develop useful skills of analysis and presentation. Studying the module puts students in direct contact with librarians and archivists at the National Library and elsewhere in the course of researching the location of primary sources and the development of the historiography
Problem solving Locating and assessing primary source materials. Assessed through the essays.
Research skills Seminar discussion and essay-writing. The latter is formally assessed.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a range of different sources evidencing the development of the 19th-century exhibition.
Team work Students will work together in seminar preparation and discussion


This module is at CQFW Level 6