21 Pages

History collections

WithAlexia M. Clark

This chapter looks at some of the more problematic or unexpected materials found within history collections. Some are concerned with cultural history, with social history and with the relationships between groups and communities at different points in time. Some historians focus on religious history, or the political or economic history of a country or region. Some concentrate on the history of science and technology during a particular time frame. History collections are those which tell the story of people and as such they can consist of almost anything made or used by man. Local collections are likely to include significant elements of social and cultural histories. History collections, and indeed history museums, have extended their remit so that many are no longer concerned primarily with objects but, instead, place much greater emphasis on people, their lives and their stories. History curators require a broad overarching knowledge of their community and the artefacts representative of its stories.