Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Spotlight on Collections: Expanding Both What We Know and What's Available Online

 

January 28, 2020



The National Museum of the American Indian has taken a major step toward making our collections more widely available: We have posted all of the museum’s ethnographic and contemporary art collections to the Smithsonian’s online collections search center. Last week, records for some 38,000 objects and sets of objects were available on the search site. Now, more than 122,000 records are available. Records include the known history of an object, its function, the materials used in its construction, and images when appropriate. Culturally sensitive items are not included or may be presented without images or with limited information. More information about that commitment is given in the museum’s Statement on Online Collections and Culturally Sensitive Collections.

Part of the work behind this major undertaking has involved updating records with information we’re finding during the museum’s Retro-Accession Lot Project to reconstruct the collections’ acquisition history. This project, which began in 2010, addresses the fallacy that the museum’s collections were largely undocumented. Its goal is to locate collections documentation and retroactively implement an accession lot system—a numbering system used to connect an object or set of objects with their source and a specific acquisition event. With this information we can begin to rebuild an object’s provenance, or the record of its ownership.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/national-museum-american-indian/2020/01/24/spotlight-on-collections-1/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200127-daily-responsive&spMailingID=41638688&spUserID=NTkyNzY2ODg1MzgyS0&spJobID=1682498165&spReportId=MTY4MjQ5ODE2NQS2

 

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