Friday, 4 November 2016

New Project on Sir Hans Sloane's Manuscript Catalogues

We are delighted to hear news of Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane's Catalogues of His Collections, a new research project based at the British Museum in collaboration with the Department of Information Studies at University College London, with funding from the Leverhulme Trust. Sir Hans Sloane was a a crucial figure in the history, marking the transition from the seventeenth-century collector of curiosities to an early modern builder of a museum that would become the monumental British museum. The project is led by Dr Kim Sloan as Principal Investigator, together with Co-Investigator Dr Julianne Nyhan and Senior Research Assistant is Dr Martha Fleming. The researchers provide this description of the project:
The objective of Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane’s catalogues of his collections is to understand the intellectual structures of Sloane’s own manuscript catalogues of his collections and with them the origins of the Enlightenment disciplines and information management practices they helped to shape. The project will employ a pioneering interdisciplinary combination of curatorial, traditional humanities and Digital Humanities research to examine Sloane’s catalogues which reveal the way in which he and his contemporaries collected, organised and classified the world, through their descriptions, cross-references and codes. The project will draw on the research framework that emerged from the 2012 AHRC-funded 'Sloane's Treasures' workshops, and findings will make significant contributions to histories of information science, histories of collections, and philosophy of knowledge, and will benefit a wide range of other disciplines as well.
The project will transcribe and analyze six major manuscript catalogues from 1680-1753 involving remnant collections held at the British Library, the British Library, and the Natural History Museum. Watch this space for notice of the project website, coming soon.

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