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Articles on Museums

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Holy cards are highly collectible but also very, very numerous. Ryan O'Grady, The Marian Library, University of Dayton

What can you do with unwanted holy cards and Grandma’s religious statues? Well, that depends

The mass production of religious items such as rosaries and holy cards poses a problem for the curators of religious artifacts at libraries and museums. How do you dispose of unwanted donations?
Museums across the U.S., including at Harvard University, collected human remains, which were often displayed to the public. Smith Collection/Gado/Archive Photos via Getty Images

US museums hold the remains of thousands of Black people

Proposed legislation would identify and protect African American cemeteries. But it wouldn't cover the remains of thousands of Black people in museum collections.
In our current context of rapidly improving technology, archives and museums must constantly make tough decisions about what to keep, what to refuse or even remove. (Shutterstock)

From erasure to recategorizing: What we should do with Dr. Seuss books

Media coverage of the recent Dr. Seuss controversy are rooted in both a lack of awareness of the challenges and realities of maintaining collections and a false understanding of history.
Behind the scenes, natural history museums store biological samples from the field. Ryan Stephens

Museum specimens could help fight the next pandemic – why preserving collections is crucial to future scientific discoveries

Specimen preservation means researchers don't need to reinvent the wheel each time they ask a new question, making it critical for the advancement of science. But many specimens are discarded or lost.
This wooden dish from Broome, pre-1892, was made by Yawuru people, collected by police and later presented by the Commissioner of Police, Colonel Phillips, to the WA Museum. Courtesy of the WA museum

Friday essay: 5 museum objects that tell a story of colonialism and its legacy

A spear-thrower, a shell, a bowl, a vase, a bucket. Five very different items tell us much about the history of collecting, the role of Indigenous experts and the shadow of colonial violence.
Paintings from the artists of Balgo in the south-east Kimberley are among the expansive collection at the Berndt Museum. AP Photo/Jens Meyer

Perth already has a museum of Indigenous art and culture. With proper funding, it could be our national centre

Too often in conversations about cultural centres, the incredible resources already available are neglected.The Berndt Museum, in Perth, is a collection of national and international significance.

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