a collaborative community-based project

“Collection” by Susan Garfinkel

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 1 I have begun the process of writing about the keyword “collection” for this site. A draft will be posted in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, some points to consider:

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 1 Materials in libraries, archives, museums and similar repositories are often organized around the concept of a collection, which brings items together in some thematic way. That theme might be a subject area (“labor unions”), a type of item or artifact (“Liberty Bell souvenirs”), or the original provenance of the items (“The Washington Papers,” “books published in seventeenth-century London”). Sometimes the prior grouping of materials by a collector adds a layer of organization to the collection (“The Marian S. Carson collection of Americana” or “The Annenberg Collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings”). What constitutes the boundary of a collection, and who gets to define what is or isn’t one?

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 1 Recently, some have argued that with digitization and computer-based keyword searching “collection” is no longer a useful concept while others have meanwhile explored the creation of “virtual collections” that bring together items held in far-flung physical locations. Web sites like eBay facilitate physical collecting, while sites like Pinterest enable and celebrate the collection of digitized fragments. New composite terms like GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) and GLAM Convergence signal the ways that digitization both affords and necessitates uniformity in the way cultural repositories present their holdings to audiences: Should libraries and archives provide interpretive statements about their collections? Are museums newly expected to share their catalog of holdings–including items not on display–with the larger public?

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 1 Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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Source: http://www.dhkeywords.org/wp/keyword-essays/collection-by-susan-garfinkel/