THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN
an interactive kiosk on permanent exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare
This educational kiosk calls upon the biographical
and metaphorical structure of one of Shakespeares best
known quotations, and uses the Folger Librarys beautiful
stained-glass window as an interface element (Title
Screen and Navigate) to
offer the user access to selected Treasures from
the Folgers collection, illustrated Quotations from
Shakespeare, and thematic material which illuminates Shakespeares Life and
times. A section About the Folger,
context-sensitive Help, Glossary information
in context, and a complete Index with Keywording round
out the application.
enlargeable images in true color, supplemented with commentary,
transcriptions, and music
beautifully illustrated quotations from Shakespeare with
glossary and purposeful hyperlinks
index and keywords for searching
This opening screen is also a navigation interface,
allowing the user to go directly to the Treasures section for each
of the Seven Ages (Infant, Schoolboy, Lover, Soldier, Justice,
Pantaloon, Old Man) by clicking on the appropriate panel of the
window. Sir Derek Jacobi recites the Seven Ages speech, and as
he mentions each age, an enlargement of the stained glass figure
for that age appears at right, along with the text. The user may
also click on those figures to navigate to that section.
the speech is completed, succinct instructions appear and are read
aloud. After a brief musical interlude, Sir Derek
returns. Help and access to About
the Folger are also available.
The program returns to this screen after an idle period.
Scalloped tabs along the top of the Treasures screen
indicate how many items are in that age. Pointing at a tab displays
that items title in gray type to the right of the current
Each item may have more than one image, as indicated by the counter
and arrows toward the bottom of the screen, and every image can
Heres a Treasure item in the Lover section
that has a transcription. The user is getting ready to toggle the
sound (actors reading) on and read along with the text of
John Donnes letter. The letter has been enlarged to show
the lovely handwriting. The user can "grab and drag" the
enlargement, or use the scrolling arrows beneath the image, to
move it around within its frame.
This portion of Visscher's view of London can be
enlarged even further, and the hyperlinks at right in the text "zoom
in" on features of interest. The whole panorama can be paged
through using the arrows beneath the image, or enlarged and viewed
seamlessly by scrolling or dragging.
This Justice Treasure item
shows a pop-up box which has been triggered by the user clicking
on "Seven Deadly Sins." Every hyperlink that isn't self-explanatory
has a pop-up box which explains the destination and offers the
user a choice whether to proceed or not.
Scalloped tabs along the top of the screen indicate
how many Shakespeare quotations are available in each age. Pointing
at a tab displays its title in gray type to the right of the current
Each quotation is recited by an actor when the user arrives. The sound can
be toggled on an off. Glossary terms can been shown and definitions accessed
by clicking on the button at the bottom center of the screen. Information about
the illustrations displays when the "illustration info" toggle button
at the upper right.
Quotations are illustrated with a rich array of materials from
the Folger collection; manuscripts, woodcuts, watercolors, engravings,
oil paintings, and photographs (like this image of John Barrymore
as Hamlet) from a wide range of periods are included.
Each Life section starts with a screen that explains
how the current age (here: Soldier) relates to the life of Shakespeare,
and describes the thematic material presented in this age. Appropriate
music plays in the background.
As we point out in the Life section head for the
Solider age, Shakespeare was never a soldier. All of the Life ages
are treated both literally and thematically. In this case, the
Soldier age concentrates on the lively goings on in London, where
Shakespeare went to start his career.
As in the Treasures
section, scalloped tabs along the top of the Life screen indicate
how many items are in that age. Pointing at a tab displays that
items title in a gray type to the right of the current
Every image can be enlarged. Transcriptions and multiple images
are often provided. Sometimes a hyperlink in the description
will "zoom in" on a detail
by enlarging and putting it in the center of the display frame.
This screen provides direct access to every main
area of the Seven Ages application. The "highlighted" button
indicates the most recent Seven Ages material visited by the user.
This section introduces the user to the Folger as
an institution, its collections & programs, the building, and
the Seven Ages window. It also allows access to Credits information
for the application, and acknowledges the Sponsors of the Shakespeare
Gallery. Help is available.
The Help screen displays topics appropriate to the
section from which you have invoked Help. The user is free at any
time to select from general topics in the leftmost column, and
then from relevant subtopics presented in the center column of
buttons. As shown here, some of the Help explanations provide hyperlinks
to other parts of the application.
This Pantaloon Quotation shows that the user has
toggled on glossary display, and clicked on the word "stout" to
obtain a definition. When the cursor moves off the word, the definition
will hide itself, and a new definition will appear when the user
clicks on another word.
entire Seven Ages table of contents is available in the Index.
Using filters, you can choose which subset of items you want
to see listed (by age and by type). When you arrive at the Index
your current location is preselected for you in the filters (e.g.,
Infant and Quotations).
On the Index screen, you can also choose to screen the contents
of the application by keywords. The keywords are displayed alphabetically
in a scrolling box, and selected by clicking on them. The selected
word is displayed below, and the list to the right shows the available
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