Colonies, cultures and curation in the Museo de America

On my recent travels I popped into Madrid’s Museum of America, a favourite of mine since I first went there a few years ago. This is an overlooked gem of a museum, located to the north-west of the city center. There are so many fascinating artefacts here that you could easily spend days looking at them all in detail. Not having quite that long to spare, I made do with a few highlights which go some way to show the sheer breadth of the collection there.

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Reflections on heritage, history and interpretation for International Archive Day

Friday 9th June 2017 was International Archive Day and during that day I was lucky enough to be spending some time in one of the most culturally rich cities in Europe: Madrid. In previous posts, I’ve spoken about the most famous cultural attraction here – the Museo del Prado – and some of the lesser-known ones such as the Museo Cerralbo and the Naval Museum. Madrid contains many archives, museums and heritage sites, all worth their weight in gold due to the enormous wealth of history contained within them. I wanted to reflect on this history in the context of some of the things I’ve seen over the past few days here in the city, and to think about the connections which these institutions forge between the past and the present.

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Taking a break and volunteering somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse*

Around this time of year, I would normally expect to be restarting my studies. This year, however, I have decided to take a break from the course. This is for a number of reasons, but most of all it’s because I feel that I would benefit at this point from some more practical experience in order to put the skills which I have learned to use in real situations. My studies have involved a lot of work on sample classifications, reports on imaginary scenarios and a lot of thinking about the theoretical side of knowledge organisation, but applying these is a very different skill. Luckily there is an archive reasonably close to where I live, and back in July they just happened to be asking for volunteers to help catalogue some of their small collection.

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