Tag Archives | collecting

Collecting Collections and digital ways of knowing

Haidy Geismar, UCL

Talpa sp, Mole, Adult, Z2754 UCL Grant Museum of Zoology, © 2014 UCL. CC BY-NC-SA license.

Talpa sp, Mole, Adult, Z2754
UCL Grant Museum of Zoology, © 2014 UCL. CC BY-NC-SA license.


Last term I taught parallel undergraduate and Masters seminars exploring the creation of knowledge systems in museums and the effects of shifts towards the digital on the organization of knowledge and museum epistemologies. All the students had to create a project that digitally presented a series of objects, drawn from across UCL Museums and Collections and created a new digital collection environment. The project aimed not to create an online exhibition but to think about the potentials, and limitations, of digital representation and modes of organization for creating knowledge about both specific objects and from the collecting together of different objects.…

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24th-25th March 2014

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Cambridge

Booking for our major March conference is now open.
To book go to:

For more details email Ali Clark ac912 (at) cam.ac.uk

Speakers include:
Jonathan Mane-Wheoki
Ralph Regenvanu
Faustina Rehuher-Marugg
Megan Tamati-Quennell
Nicholas Thomas

March 24th, from 5.30pm, a wine reception and dinner at Corpus Christi College.
March 25th, 9.30am-6pm, one day conference in the McCrum Lecture Theatre, followed at 6.30pm by the opening of an exhibition on Tapa cloth in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

All fees include the wine reception, dinner, conference, conference catering and exhibition reception.

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The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family History of and through Objects

By Aaron Glass (Bard Graduate Center)

After knowing about the book for a couple of years, I finally found the time to read The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), Edmund de Waal’s evocative exploration of his material patrimoine. The book traces its author’s geographical, archival, and emotional wanderings though the past century and a half and across the globe as he pieces together the story of his family, largely through its accumulated—and then mostly alienated—collections. Where objects are no longer extant, de Waal reconstructs their once-presence from lists, ledgers, account books, registries, catalogues, photographs, letters, memoirs, and novels.

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Between Art and Information: Collecting Photographs

One Day Meeting, Leicester

Saturday March 2nd, 2013

Museums and Galleries History Group/Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University

Registration: www.mghg.org/collectingphotographs/

The status of photographs in the history of museum collections is a complex one. From the inception of the medium its double capacity as an aesthetic form and as a recording medium created tensions about its place in the hierarchy of museum objects.  While museums had been amassing photographs since about 1850, it was, for instance, only in the 1970s that the first senior curators of photographs were appointed in UK museums. On the one hand major collections of ‘art’ photography have grown in status and visibility, while photographs not designated  ‘art’ are often invisible in museums. On the other hand almost every museum has photographs as part of its ecosystem, gathered as information, corroboration or documentation, shaping the understanding of other classes of objects.…

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A History of New York in 50 Objects

[Greek Coffee Cup, 1960s; from the NY Times site]

An artichoke and an elevator. A Checker taxicab and a conductor’s baton. A MetroCard and a mastodon tusk.

Inspired by “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” the British Museum’s BBC radio series and book, the NY Times recruited historians and museum curators to identify 50 objects that could embody the narrative of New York.

Perhaps coincidently (perhaps not), the same issue also contains this article about the value of souvenirs (although readers of Material World might want to defend the term “stuff” from its headline-writing detractors, as the author herself goes on to do).


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CFP–Icon Conference 2013: Positive Futures in an Uncertain World

ICON Ethnography Group in partnership with the University of Glasgow is hosting a half day session at the ICON Conference 2013, Glasgow, focusing on the shared materials between Ethnography and Natural History collections.  From plant to animal materials, Ethnographic and Natural History conservators frequently treat objects containing these shared materials.  How is the approach to treating these objects different or similar?  Can Ethnographic and Natural History conservators share techniques, and do they? We would like to use the similarity of materials as a starting point in order to explore approaches to the ethics, treatments and research relating to both Ethnographic and Natural History collections.  Moreover, can we increase our skills by actively collaborating over projects and research? Topics may include, but are not limited to – how pesticide-treated objects are managed within collections; pest damaged fur and feather objects and the options for reattachment; fading of organic pigments or mitigating damage from previous conservation treatments…

Deadlines for papers
Please send abstracts – max 300 words – by 10th September 2012 to emiliakingham@gmail.com

Paper presentations are expected to last for approximately 20 minutes.…

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