Critical Histories of Museum Catalogues

2019-05-13T15:20:57Z (GMT) by Hannah Turner
This article introduces a special issue on the topic of museum documentation and knowledge production. The articles in this issue address the history of museum catalogues and position the documentation of material culture as a historical epistemological practice. Each article examines how cataloguing practices have evolved over time and how the categorization or classification of ethnographic material culture often depends on specific individuals or preexisting scientific standards. This issue engages critically with emergent discussions concerning the formalization of knowledge about ethnographic material culture as it emerged in the nineteenth century. These articles also contribute to theoretical discussions that consider the material practices of knowledge production and the affective relations that shape this information. As a whole, this issue gives unique insights into how museums have documented material culture through time and provides a way of thinking about how we might engage with such historical practices that still impact much of our present work.