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Exploring Emotion, Care, and Enthusiasm in “Unloved” Museum Collections

Anna Woodham Alison Hess Rhianedd Smith

216 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Millions of items are held in museum collections around the world but many museums have very few visitors to their stored collections. These stored objects are certainly not neglected by their professional custodians, and they are loved with a great intensity by some curators and enthusiasts. However, for all but a tiny proportion of the population they have little or no personal meaning. This book goes beyond strategic discussions of access to stores, information enhancement, or collections rationalization and focuses on the emotional potential of these objects.

The authors explore how “care” for objects has varied over time and consider who cares for objects that are generally considered to be unsuitable for display and why they care. They also consider how inter-generational and inter-disciplinary dialogue can enhance or engender engagement with "unloved" collections and offer strategies and reflection on interpreting stored collections. This book will be essential reading for scholars, students, and professionals in museums, especially those concerned with curation and collections.
Author Bio
Anna Woodham ============ Anna Woodham is Lecturer in Arts and Cultural Management at King's College London. Alison Hess =========== Alison Hess is Research and Public History Manager at the Science Museum, London. Rhianedd Smith ============== Rhianedd Smith is the Director of the Heritage and Creativity Institute and UMASCS Director of Academic Learning and Engagement Programmes at the University of Reading.