Fragments of the World: Uses of Museum Collections

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Routledge, 2005 - Architecture - 198 pages
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During the past decade a number of individual museums have found imaginative ways of using their collections and of making them accessible. However, museum collections as a whole are enormous in size and quantity and the question of how can they can be put to best use is ever present. When conventional exhibitions can only ever utilise a tiny proportion of them, what other uses of the collections are possible? Will their exploitation and use now destroy their value for future generations? Should they simply be kept safely and as economically as possible as a resource for the future?

Fragments of the World examines these questions, first reviewing the history of collecting and of collections, then discussing the ways in which the collections themselves are being used today. Case studies of leading examples from around the world illustrate the discussion. Bringing together the thinking about museum collections with case studies of the ways in which different types of collection are used, the book provides a roadmap for museums to make better use of this wonderful resource.

Brings together the diverse aspects of this topical subject in one place
Accessible, readable text in the authors trademark style
International case studies to illustrate the theory
 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 Museums
15
3 Collections
25
4 Collections for research
45
5 Collections for ongoing learning
66
6 Collections memory and identity
84
7 Collections and creativity
103
8 Collections for enjoyment
121
9 Collections and digitization
138
10 Collections and values
158
11 Piecing together the fragments
177
Acknowledgements
189
Research Method
190
Copyright and permissions
193
Index
195
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Suzanne Keene was Head of Collections Management, Science Museum, London until becoming an independent consultant and lecturer.

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