Museum Collecting and Collections

Authored by: Robert B. Pickering

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ELIS4-120044042

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Abstract

Collecting is a central activity to museums. Object-based learning is the underlying principle that museums use to tell their stories to the public through different media such as exhibits, programs, classes, books, and activities. Collecting in museums is usually directed by curators who conduct research, create new knowledge, and present their work through publications, exhibits, and programs. Traditionally, there has always been a tension in museums between saving objects primarily for research versus using objects in educational programs. In recent decades, this tension has become more complicated as a result of other trends relating to changing demographics, new laws, and evolving ethics. In the future, these trends may change how museums build collections.

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