The role of museums and collectors in the emerging discipline of anthropology in the first half of the twentieth century.
Over the last two centuries, museums and the academic discipline of anthropology have developed, bringing increasing professionalism into curatorship and fieldwork. But look at any museum collection, and it is clear that the 'amateur' has been and still is important in ethnographic collecting. What divides the amateur from the professional, and what brings them together? What makes an amateur into a professional? The focus is on collectors and collections: what drives the one and creates the other? This theme can cover many different strands, such as: - the changing role of the amateur collector in ethnographic collecting - non-specialist specialists: other -ologists such as archaeologists, geologists or ornithologists collecting as a sideline to their specialism - women collectors and the amateur / professional divide - the development of ethnographic museum collections, and the historic context of collecting, from cabinets of curiosities covering all disciplines to contemporary collecting - changing ideas in museums: in curatorship, ethnographic displays, the ethics of collecting - personal collections, from living room displays to private institutions - collections research, and, eg, how the method of collection affects the research possible - the collector, amateur or professional, and their relationship with the source community