chapter  8
Collections for enjoyment
Pages 17

It would be possible to lose sight of the fact that collections can simply be highly enjoyable: they can be great fun. The mixture of objects, the bizarre juxtapositions, things one never knew were needed or existed, all combine to make a richer picture of the world, or vivid connections to the past. This was the basis for the Wunderkammer: the Cabinet of Curiosities. Objects from a Wunderkammer collection, natural and artificial ‘wonders’ donated by Marquis Ferdinando Cospi in 1675, including a unicorn horn (in fact a narwhal tusk), are still displayed in the Museo Civico Medievale, Bologna, now to be marvelled at as a glimpse of past ways of seeing things. There are various ways in which people can enjoy the collections other than through exhibits. Stores tours, visitable storage, visible storage, events using collections objects, activities where people or groups can use collections directly are some of them. This chapter will explore the question of how more people could enjoy more of the collections.