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Collecting and Collections

Look Again!

When collecting, a curator is like a detective. Drawing on knowledge and experience, a curator will ask a series of questions following an established formula. Good questions, well asked, are very helpful tools. Some questions are easier to answer than others and one question often leads to another. The answers to these questions will uncover the object’s story: its history, meaning and significance. Generally speaking, the longer and more interesting the story, the greater the importance of the object to the museum. To show how it’s done, let’s look at some questions curators ask using examples of artifacts from the collection of the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

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