Collections development in hindsight: a numerical analysis of the Science and Technology collections of National Museums Scotland since 1855 - NMS Research Repository
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Collections development in hindsight: a numerical analysis of the Science and Technology collections of National Museums Scotland since 1855

Abstract

Long term and bulk patterns in both the accessioning and deaccessioning of the Science and Technology collections of National Museums Scotland were revealed within their digital database records. This makes use of bulk analysis of records to show historic patterns which can inform current activities. The current and recent selection of collections for display is analysed to reveal patterns in when these objects came into the collection. The research confirms the value of both past collecting and disposal in the development of strong collections of present and future utility. It shows that both recent displays and a major mid-twentieth century re-assessment of the collection were most likely to value material which had been recently collected. It also reveals a potential tendency for less significant material to be acquired by gift than by purchase.

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