A New Paradigm for Collections by Nick Merriman

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In this presentation, Nick Merriman, looked at the future of collecting, particularly in the 'systematic' museums which characterised the heyday of Imperial museum provision. Many have virtually ceased collecting in the face of resource constraints and the impossibility of achieving the encyclopaedic goal. He suggested a new approach, based on notion of the 'relational object' derived from anthropological collecting.

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A New Paradigm for Collections by Nick Merriman

  1. 1. Nick Merriman<br />The Manchester Museum<br />University of Manchester<br />A New Paradigm for Collecting?<br />
  2. 2. Local & global dimension<br />Process would be as important as outcome: it’s about relationships<br />Relationships can be virtual as well as face-to-face<br />Collecting would be as much about digital as about objects<br />Collecting becomes qualitative rather than quantitative – the relational museum<br />What might collecting look like?<br />
  3. 3. Promoting understanding between cultures<br />Working towards a sustainable world<br />The Manchester Museum: Objectives<br />
  4. 4. Collective Conversations<br />
  5. 5. Living Worlds Gallery<br />
  6. 6.
  7. 7. Potential collecting themes<br />Trees: forestation and deforestation; climate change; cultural meanings<br />Water: Peak District & Egypt; water management; cultural associations; biodiversity<br />Cotton: Manchester and Turkey; cultivation; manufacture; meanings; distribution; consumption<br />Migration: plants and animals; movement of people and species<br />

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