Until relatively recently the histories of collections across the world was a subject sadly neglected. Generally most research on museums was specifically collections-based, meaning research that focused on the actual or individual objects with no real effort being made to preserve or research the actual collecting or acquiring history in detail. The question then arises, what is the importance of preserving collection history? Besides the pragmatic necessity to keep record of the details of the acquisition from a legal perspective, the actual provenance and historical context is also of relevance. On the one hand it is telling of what a particular society or institution deemed worthy of preservation within a particular time and therefore reflects on that past – while on the other hand, it also speaks to the nature and context of the collections themselves. It is from this perspective that this proposed study considers the range of collections that the University of Pretoria gathered over a period of just over a century
Dissertation (MHCS)--University of Pretoria, 2018.