Degree Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Archaeological Studies

Advisor(s)

Linda Grimm

Keywords

Catalogue, Catalog, Ethnographic, Collection, Oberlin College, Museum, Collections

Abstract

My study will aim at revealing the role of system authors in creating and maintaining catalogue systems for museum collections. These systems, created to organize, structure, and keep track of the material in a museum collection, often hold the theoretical autograph of the people involved in their conception, and are "artifacts in their own right" (Southwood 2003:105). As a result, Kaplan notes, "any residual claims of innocence and objectivity are completely unfounded" (Kaplan 2002:211). To demonstrate, this paper will look extensively at the catalogue systems and reorganizations that have affected the Ethnographic Collection at Oberlin College since its codification in the late 19th century.

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