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How to collect, store and curate objects in the Anthropocene? On participatory and digital collections

Chicken Eggs on Scanner, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Photo: Elisa Herrmann, CC BY-SA

Part of a series of workshops on "Anthropocenic Objects. Collecting Practices for the Age of Humans". A cooperation on material culture in the Anthropocene and the changing role of museums, archives, digital and participatory collections of the Museum für Naturkunde and Europeana  (dates: 17 February, 17 March and 14 April 2022).

Second Workshop: How to collect, store and curate objects in the Anthropocene? 

On participatory and digital collections

Only a closer connection between society and research can generate the necessary knowledge to address the environmental and societal challenges of the future. Therefore, making collections that represent the Anthropocene accessible to the general public is not enough. They should also enable participation, and cultural institutions should foster exchanges between the society and research around collections.

The  workshop focuses on participatory and digital collecting practices of Anthropocenic objects. Based on the results of our first workshop the discussion will be centered on concrete benefits and challenges related to digital collections, crowdsourcing projects and collections using citizen science approaches. We will focus on questions such as: How to display material and immaterial dimensions of objects and their interconnectedness? What data standards are needed to link community-generated metadata and transdisciplinary research requirements? What are the most problematical points of participatory collections (community management, activation, maintenance, questions of ownership/copyright)? How can sustainable data management succeed?

Event information

Digital event via Zoom for and with interdisciplinary researchers and museum professionals, organised by the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin as part of a project in collaboration with Europeana Research within the Europeana Research Grants Programme. 

The workshop is centered on the exchange of theoretical and practical perspectives and joint reflection. Invited speakers are asked to bring an object (or its digital representation) that can be described as an Anthropocenic object from their point of view.

  • Programme: The complete programme can be found here:
  • Registration: Please register for the workshop until 4 p.m. on March 16th here.
  • The workshop will be held via Zoom and will not be recorded. A workshop report will be published afterwards.

Further information

An event of the projects Changing Natures. Collecting the Anthropocene Together, Access, Innovation, Networking project in the framework of the Future Plan and the Innovation in Public Engagement unit at the Museum of Natural History Berlin – Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity, funded by and in cooperation with Europeana Research Grant Programme 2021.