During the past decade a number of individual museums have found
imaginative ways of using their collections and of making them
accessible. However, museum collections as a whole are enormous in
size and quantity and the question of how can they can be put to
best use is ever present. When conventional exhibitions can only
ever utilise a tiny proportion of them, what other uses of the
collections are possible? Will their exploitation and use now
destroy their value for future generations? Should they simply be
kept safely and as economically as possible as a resource for the
future? Fragments of the World examines these questions, first
reviewing the history of collecting and of collections, then
discussing the ways in which the collections themselves are being
used today. Case studies of leading examples from around the world
illustrate the discussion. Bringing together the thinking about
museum collections with case studies of the ways in which different
types of collection are used, the book provides a roadmap for
museums to make better use of this wonderful resource.
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