Archival exhibitions: cross-border cultural exchange and collaboration

Comma (2014), 2014, (1-2), 179–184.


As an effective means of cultural communication and a medium for collaboration and exchange, archival exhibitions have proved a growing phenomenon unique to this industry. Instead of remaining a cultural event, the archival exhibition now serves to promote cross-cultural, cross-border and cross-industry collaboration. Exhibitions connect us to the past and the future, celebrate common values, share experiences, improve the national and urban image and showcase the magnificence of cultural diversity. Shanghai Municipal Archives has been making successful and meaningful attempts in this regard. For example the ‘Chinese Communists in the Eyes of Foreign Journalists’ exhibition demonstrated the significance of sharing archival resources internationally and also made possible our collaboration with the libraries and archival departments of prestigious educational institutions in Europe and America; ‘Rabindranath Tagore in China’ and ‘India-China-India’ revealed overwhelmingly the power of archival cultural communication, and ‘German Life in Shanghai’ exhibition showed how big a role the archival departments can play in terms of cultural communication in an international metropolis. Our exhibitions attest to the necessity of international collaboration and exchange. As the meticulous selection of topics, eye-catching exhibition items and a win-win prospect continue to be the key elements of the Shanghai archival exhibitions, what is more important is the establishment of international collaboration mechanisms for archival cultural exchange, the introduction of cross-border and cross-industry partners (including commercial partners), the formation and training of professional teams and the formulation of development plans going forward.

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Author details

Jihua, Zhu