Investigating curatorial voice with corpus linguistic techniques: the case of Dorothy George and applications in museological practice

Salway, Andrew and Baker, James (2020) Investigating curatorial voice with corpus linguistic techniques: the case of Dorothy George and applications in museological practice. Museum and Society. ISSN 1479-8360 (Accepted)

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Abstract

We seek to demonstrate how corpus linguistic techniques can facilitate a comprehensive account of curatorial voice in a large digitised museum catalogue and hence leverage its value as a resource for generating new knowledge about: curatorial practice; the historical and cultural contexts of curation; and, the content of collections. We worked with 1.1 million words written by the historian M. Dorothy George between 1930 and 1954 to describe 9330 late-Georgian satirical prints. George’s curatorial descriptions were analysed in terms of their typical informational content and with regards to the extent George included interpretation and evaluation in her descriptions. We discuss how results from such analyses can provide a basis for addressing questions about George’s curatorial voice and, more generally, suggest how this approach could benefit museological practice around the production of descriptions and the re-purposing of legacy catalogues for digital access and analysis of collections.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Curation, catalogues, corpus linguistics, British Museum, Dorothy George
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Humanities Lab
Subjects: D History General and Old World
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Depositing User: James Baker
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2020 08:12
Last Modified: 26 May 2020 13:39
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/89738

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Curatorial Voice: M. Dorothy George and the Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires at the British Museum, 1935-1954G2495BRITISH ACADEMYDRH18\180023