Laurine Collardeau deposited How to Tell a Story with Lyrics: A case study of the British Library’s display Paul McCartney: the Lyrics (2021) to explore the creation of an inspiring exhibit of song words. in the group CityLIS on Humanities Commons 4 months, 1 week ago
From November 2021 to March 2022, lyrics and memorabilia from Paul McCartney’s personal archive went on display at the British Library. It is rare to go to libraries to access song lyrics, so this study investigated why the library and Paul McCartney created a display following the release of a lyric book. As inspiration was one of the aims behind this project, inspiring visitors by design was also explored. Firstly, desk research was conducted on the issue of song words, lyric collections, and principles of exhibition design. Secondly, a case study of the display Paul McCartney: the Lyrics (2021) was done to understand the creation of a lyric display. As such, the literature review and interviews with staff illuminated the challenges of collecting lyrics due to a lack of awareness from songwriters to keep their work and a lack of rules in lyric publications. Consequently, a lot of inaccurate lyrics are discoverable on unofficial websites. In addition, the analysis of the findings revealed that cultural institutions can have an impact on how artists and listeners value and consume lyrics. Speaking with stakeholders of the display also highlighted how exhibition makers include their audience in the design of an exhibit. Ultimately, this study concluded that a successful display of lyrics inspires visitors to appreciate lyrics as an artform and to explore the library in new ways.