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The Identity of Objects: Historical Trends in the Concept of Collection

Page history last edited by Cathryn Goodwin 13 years, 9 months ago

Paper title: The Identity of Objects: Historical Trends in the Concept of Collection

Presenter: Jason T. Hewitt (Doctoral Student, Department of Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles)




This paper explores the use of ontological categories derived from C.S. Peirce and Justus Buchler to describe the unfolding evolution of the concept of collection with regard to the commons. Exploring several periods of museum history as delineated by Edwina Taborsky, it finds relationships with both the evolution of authorship and the nature preserve. Understanding this pattern allows us to view a long-term semiotic drift in culture, elsewhere identified by Foucault, which, moreover, allows us to trace the contours of power as control in the evolution of museum informatics. Finally, based on this interpretation and following Hardt & Negri in their theory of the production of the commons, speculations are offered about the future of digital museums in relation to digital libraries.





Jason T. Hewitt

Jason T. Hewitt is a doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Department of Information Studies. His research focuses on the relationship of philosophical skepticism and semiotic theory to information ecologies. He has lectured on the History of Religions, Ecological Theology and Semiotic Ecology at the University of Denver, Naropa University, the Vajrapani Institute, and elsewhere. He works professionally as a consultant and as a Knowledge Manager and Information Architect for MySpace.Com.




Session Info

  • Type: Individual Paper
  • Keywords: museum informatics, history, collections, pragmatism, semiotics, philosophy, digital museums, digital libraries, eco-museums, nature preserves
  • Relevance: Targeted to those interested in the history of collections development and the application of philosophy to museum informatics. Also relevant to the specific aims of the conference in terms of community development and the production of the commons.



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