Workshop Series: Extreme Collecting

This looks great - I'm hoping to attend the first workshop in December. Anyone else up for that?


What are the acceptable boundaries for the practice of collecting? How can new strategies in collecting be implemented? Extreme Collecting explores the process of collecting that challenges the bounds of normally acceptable practice.

Through a series of four workshops Extreme Collecting aims to apply a critical approach
towards the rigidity of museums in maintaining essentially 19th century ideas to collecting and
move towards identifying priorities for collection policies in British museums that are inclusive of acquiring 'difficult' objects. Extreme Collecting may apply to the collection of
those objects supposedly so mundane and mass-produced as to appear uninteresting. Alternatively, it also applies to the collecting of objects that have physical characteristics – of
ephemeral substance, size and scale – that make it impossible to acquire and exhibit or are
prone to rapid decay. Sustainability of collections is a vital consideration in a world where
institutions are dominated by audit culture and by tick box compliance. Addressing these issues we may begin to plan for and manage the museum collections of the future.

A workshop series organised by University College London in cooperation with the British Museum, supported by the AHRC

Workshop Details:

Workshop 1: Extreme Collecting: Intellectual Foundations to 'Difficult' Objects
Friday, 14 December 2007, 1-6 pm

Workshop 2: Ethnography of the Ordinary
Thursday, 31 January 2008, 1-6 pm

Workshop 3: Scale, Size and the Ephemeral
Thursday, 28 February 2008, 1-6 pm

Workshop 4: Collecting and Source Communities
Monday, 31 March 2008, 1-6 pm


The workshops will take place at the British Museum, Sackler Room.


For registration and enquiries contact: There is no fee, but registration is required since attendance is limited to 40 participants for each workshop.

Project organisers:
Graeme Were (UCL), Jonathan King (British Museum), Robert Storrie (British Museum), Jan Geisbusch (UCL)


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