Thursday, October 7, 2010

First Person Museum Exhibit Captions

Below are my four options for the caption of Amy's birth certificate as exhibited this autumn at the First Person Museum to be housed in the Painted Bride Art Center. Please feel free to leave comments with critiques or your favorite.

Caption 1:

About German Birth Certificates

German birth certificates are issued by the municipal government Registry Office where the person is born. The document displays basic demographical information, including the child’s first, middle, and last name; mother’s and father’s names; sex; date and place of birth; issuing organization; place of registration; name and office of certifier.

Written by Sara A. Borden

Caption 2:

About American Birth Certificates

The Census Bureau mandated standardized birth certificates in 1900 and issued them until 1946 when the duty transferred to the Public Health Service. Today, the Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, collects birth data. The federal government no longer issues birth certificates, leaving this to individual states.

Written by Sara A. Borden

Caption 3:

About Citizenship

Birth certificates represent the relationship between a government and its people. These documents are proof of citizenship which entitle bearers to certain rights. These rights may be as basic as voting or as complex as running for office and holding jobs. A birth certificate is a paper representation of identity.

Written by Sara A. Borden

Caption 4:

About Other

This is an American citizen’s birth certificate from Germany, issued in 1947. This time period was rife with racial tension and struggle in the United States. The German document bears no indication of the race of the person to whom it was issued, in contrast to some American birth certificates.

Written by Sara A. Borden

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