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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De Goya a gofres: knowledge organisation at the Prado

It’s always great when you can incorporate your interests and passions into your work. The assignment for the Knowledge Organisation module last semester required me to construct a classification system for the corporate knowledge of an imaginary establishment. This is sometimes known as a corporate taxonomy, and it’s really a way of organising all the different kinds of information needed to perform the functions of a particular organisation or department. The taxonomy should also provide a way to present and disseminate relevant information to those who interact with it, whether they are internal staff or members of the public. For the purposes of this assessment, we could either invent a fictitious organisation or use an existing one as a guide. This is where I got excited…! I had chosen the scenario of a cultural establishment open to the public, and thought that a museum would make a good example…

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