Junk and Priceless China: A Chronology of Cataloging at the Museum of Anthropology


This paper considers how knowledge has been organized around museum objects at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA), British Columbia. We trace the practice of cataloging material heritage at this museum, reading from the first attempts at standardizing object nomenclatures in the journals of private collectors, to the contemporary practices associated with object documentation in the digital age. Through a critical cataloging perspective; we show how the history of colonialism is embedded in museum records in the particular milieu of Western Canada. This paper is part of a larger research project, “The Work of Repair,” which investigates museum documentation histories across Canada.

Jun 7, 2023 5:00 pm — 5:30 pm