Special Issue "On Provenance of Knowledge and Documentation: Select Papers from “CIDOC 2018”"

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. George Bruseker

Centre for Cultural Informatics, Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), N. Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton, GR-700 13 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
E-Mail
Phone: +30 2810 391600
Fax: +30 2810 391601
Interests: conceptual modelling; information provenance; information management systems; semantic web; linked open data; CIDOC CRM; conceptual models of art and architecture; decolonialism; ethics of provenance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In order to consolidate and disseminate research and investigations on the theme of Provenance of Knowledge, as addressed during the CIDOC 2018 conference held in Heraklion, Crete (29 September to 5 October, 2018), we have teamed up with the journal Heritage to put together a Special Issue in this series on these questions.

The concept of provenance of knowledge plays a crucial role in sciences and the humanities, particularly in the documentation activities and the record and evidence keeping undertaken and maintained by GLAM institutions (galleries, libraries, archives and museums). It provides the ultimate warrant of validity of information. Provenance has a deep history of practice in these communities, but presently faces specific new challenges. This Special Issue will address the theme of Provenance of Knowledge especially as approached by the documentation and memory institution community. This theme entails the critical consideration and advancement of provenance as a concept/practice in its traditional form, its extension as a concept within different disciplines, questions of digital provenance, and critical reassessment and of provenance to question entrenched claims to knowledge and authority. Documentalists, cultural heritage specialists and memory institutions as a whole stand at a crucial interdisciplinary junction and have an important theoretic and practical contribution to make on the critical adoption of the concepts/practices of provenance both in application to heritage as such, but also with regards to wider scholarly conversation on its broader application in an information age.

Authors who contributed papers to CIDOC 2018 on the question of provenance of knowledge are encouraged to submit contributions to this volume, as are researchers working in this area who were unable to attend but wish to join this conversation.

Dr. George Bruseker
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
‘Gavdos: The House’. A Theatre/Archaeology Narrative and Pieces of Knowledge of Diachronic Home Life
Heritage 2019, 2(2), 1286-1299; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2020083
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 26 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
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Abstract
At the site called Katalymata, on the island of Gavdos off the south western Cretan shores, the University of Crete is excavating a spacious building complex dating back to the Bronze Age (3rd and mainly 2nd millennia BC). In this paper, we discuss [...] Read more.
At the site called Katalymata, on the island of Gavdos off the south western Cretan shores, the University of Crete is excavating a spacious building complex dating back to the Bronze Age (3rd and mainly 2nd millennia BC). In this paper, we discuss a theatrical performance inspired by this discovery and investigation, which was first presented in situ on the field in 2012. The play was created by young members of the research team, who are themselves both archaeologists and actors. It is based on the accounts in the excavation notebooks of the prehistoric activities revealed in the building’s stratigraphy and enlivened by the memories of the modern islanders of their happenings at home. It also draws upon wider cognitive pieces of relevant knowledge—philosophical, literary and other. This combination was moulded to produce a structured narrative of domestic life on the island through time, and illustrate some specific aspects and overall meanings, material and symbolic, of ‘dwelling’ down the ages. Since its Gavdiot premiere, the work has been adapted for different media to travel in Greece and elsewhere in Europe, as a performative guided tour played in historic houses, as a lecture performance for conferences and art venues, and as an audiovisual installation in museums of contemporary art. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Giving Diligence Its Due: Accessing Digital Images in Indigenous Repatriation Efforts
Heritage 2019, 2(2), 1260-1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2020081
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 27 April 2019
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Abstract
An increasing volume of images is available online, but barriers such as digital locks, proprietary interests and narrow scope of information uploaded to image databases maintain structures that have impeded repatriation efforts in the real world. Images of objects (cultural material) in the [...] Read more.
An increasing volume of images is available online, but barriers such as digital locks, proprietary interests and narrow scope of information uploaded to image databases maintain structures that have impeded repatriation efforts in the real world. Images of objects (cultural material) in the digital environment support cultural heritage. Institutions are developing complex solutions relevant in the network environment to further repatriation initiatives. These solutions facilitate discovery, opening avenues for research into the ethics of ownership that cross the physical/digital divide. There have been calls for strengthening the potential for use of pertinent information in order to protect and recover cultural heritage through increased visibility. However, some museums still limit access to images. We examine the issues and their implications referencing case studies specific to Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Ontological Approach to the Description of Visual and Iconographical Representations
Heritage 2019, 2(2), 1191-1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2020078
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
The perception of our heritage is based on sign-functions, which relate visual representations to cognitive types, allowing us to make perceptual judgements over physical objects. The recording of these types of assertions is paramount for the comprehension and analysis of our heritage. The [...] Read more.
The perception of our heritage is based on sign-functions, which relate visual representations to cognitive types, allowing us to make perceptual judgements over physical objects. The recording of these types of assertions is paramount for the comprehension and analysis of our heritage. The article investigates a theoretical framework for the organization of information related to visual works on the basis of the identity and symbolic value of their single constituent elements. The framework developed is then used as a driver for the grounding of a new ontology called VIR (Visual Representation), constructed as an extension of CIDOC-CRM (CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model). VIR sustains the recording of statements about the different structural units and relationships of a visual representation, differentiating between object and interpretative act. The result, tested with data describing Byzantine and Renaissance artworks, presents solutions for describing symbols and meanings of iconographical objects, providing new clustering methods in relation to their constitutive elements, subjects or interpretations. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Collections in the Expanded Field: Relationality and the Provenance of Artefacts and Archives
Heritage 2019, 2(1), 884-897; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010059
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract
In 2017 archaeological evidence was published which indicates that modern humans first arrived in Australia around 65,000 years ago. Through the countless generations since, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples built deep connections to the landscape, developed rich material culture infused with story [...] Read more.
In 2017 archaeological evidence was published which indicates that modern humans first arrived in Australia around 65,000 years ago. Through the countless generations since, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples built deep connections to the landscape, developed rich material culture infused with story and myth, and used oral and ceremonial traditions to transmit knowledge over thousands of years. Yet, since European invasion at the end of the eighteenth century, the provenance of ethnographic and institutional collections has largely been documented with reference to white collectors and colonial institutions. Attitudes are starting to change. Recent decades have seen significant moves away from the idea of the authoritative institution toward relational museums and the co-creation of knowledge. But the structure and content of much museum documentation continues to lag behind contemporary attitudes. This paper looks at the documentation of Australian ethnographic and anthropological collections through the lens of changing perspectives on provenance, including archival notions of parallel and societal provenance. When placed in the context of recent developments in material culture theory, these collections help to highlight the limitations of existing documentation. The paper concludes with a call for community involvement and a more relational approach to documentation which better encompasses the complexities of provenance and the entangled institutional, archival, oral, and community perspectives that accumulate around artefacts in museums. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Archaeological Excavation Report of Rigny: An Example of an Interoperable Logicist Publication
Heritage 2019, 2(1), 761-773; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010049
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
The logicist program, which was initiated in the 1970s by J.C. Gardin, aims to clarify the reasoning processes in the field of archaeology and to explore new forms of publication, in order to overcome the growing imbalance between the flood of publications and [...] Read more.
The logicist program, which was initiated in the 1970s by J.C. Gardin, aims to clarify the reasoning processes in the field of archaeology and to explore new forms of publication, in order to overcome the growing imbalance between the flood of publications and our capacities of assimilation. The logicist program brings out the cognitive structure of archaeological constructs, which establishes a bridge between empirical facts or descriptive propositions, at one end of the argumentation, and interpretative propositions at the other. This alternative form of publication is designed to highlight the chain of inference and the evidence on which it stands. In the case of the logicist publication of the archaeological excavation in Rigny (Indre-et-Loire, France), our workflow can provide different levels of access to the content, allowing both speed-reading and in-depth consultation. Both the chains of inference and the ArSol database containing the field records that provide evidence for the initial propositions are visualized in a diagram structure. We rely on the International Committee for Documentation Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC CRM) entities for ensuring the semantic interoperability of such publications within the Linked Open Data. Inference chains are mapped to CRMinf and ArSol records are mapped to CRM, CRMSci and CRMArcheo. Moreover, as part of the work carried out by the French Huma-Num MASA Consortium, a project is underway to allow the building of logicist publications starting from a graphical interface for describing the structure and content of propositions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Semantic Representation and Location Provenance of Cultural Heritage Information: the National Gallery Collection in London
Heritage 2019, 2(1), 648-665; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010042
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
This paper describes a working example of semantically modelling cultural heritage information and data from the National Gallery collection in London. The paper discusses the process of semantically representing and enriching the available cultural heritage data, and reveals the challenges of semantically expressing [...] Read more.
This paper describes a working example of semantically modelling cultural heritage information and data from the National Gallery collection in London. The paper discusses the process of semantically representing and enriching the available cultural heritage data, and reveals the challenges of semantically expressing interrelations and groupings among the physical items, the venue and the available digital resources. The paper also highlights the challenges in the creation of the conceptual model of the National Gallery as a Venue, which aims to i) describe and understand the correlation between the parts of a building and the whole; ii) to record and express the semantic relationships among the building components with the building as a whole; and iii) to be able to record the accurate location of objects within space and capture their provenance in terms of changes of location. The outcome of this research is the CrossCult venue ontology, a fully International Committee for Documentation Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC-CRM) compliant structure developed in the context of the CrossCult project. The proposed ontology attempts to model the spatial arrangements of the different types of cultural heritage venues considered in the project: from small museums to open air archaeological sites and whole cities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
LODsyndesis: Global Scale Knowledge Services
Heritage 2018, 1(2), 335-348; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage1020023
Received: 27 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 17 November 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we present LODsyndesis, a suite of services over the datasets of the entire Linked Open Data Cloud, which offers fast, content-based dataset discovery and object co-reference. Emphasis is given on supporting scalable cross-dataset reasoning for finding all information about any [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present LODsyndesis, a suite of services over the datasets of the entire Linked Open Data Cloud, which offers fast, content-based dataset discovery and object co-reference. Emphasis is given on supporting scalable cross-dataset reasoning for finding all information about any entity and its provenance. Other tasks that can be benefited from these services are those related to the quality and veracity of data since the collection of all information about an entity, and the cross-dataset inference that is feasible, allows spotting the contradictions that exist, and also provides information for data cleaning or for estimating and suggesting which data are probably correct or more accurate. In addition, we will show how these services can assist the enrichment of existing datasets with more features for obtaining better predictions in machine learning tasks. Finally, we report measurements that reveal the sparsity of the current datasets, as regards their connectivity, which in turn justifies the need for advancing the current methods for data integration. Measurements focusing on the cultural domain are also included, specifically measurements over datasets using CIDOC CRM (Conceptual Reference Model), and connectivity measurements of British Museum data. The services of LODsyndesis are based on special indexes and algorithms and allow the indexing of 2 billion triples in around 80 min using a cluster of 96 computers. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessTechnical Note
Preservation of Digital Images: Question of Fixity
Heritage 2019, 2(2), 1160-1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2020075
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
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Abstract
One of the most important aspects of the long-term digital-image preservation strategy is maintaining data fixity, i.e., assuring the integrity and authenticity of original data. This article aims to highlight the limitations of the approaches used to maintain the fixity of digital images [...] Read more.
One of the most important aspects of the long-term digital-image preservation strategy is maintaining data fixity, i.e., assuring the integrity and authenticity of original data. This article aims to highlight the limitations of the approaches used to maintain the fixity of digital images in the digital preservation process and to offer perceptual hashing as a way to alleviate some of the limitations of current approaches, as well as discuss some non-technical implications of the described problems. This paper is exploratory, and while it includes a simple experiment description, it only outlines the problem and testing environment for a possible solution that could be elaborated on in further research. The most commonly used fixity maintaining techniques are immutability of data and file checksums/cryptographic hashes. On the other hand, planning for long-term preservation necessitates the need to migrate data into new future formats to maintain availability and sustainability, and the concept of the file itself should not be assumed to remain forever, which calls for other tools to ascertain the fixity of digital images. The problem goes beyond one that is exclusively technical: bitstream content is not ready for human perception, and the digital preservation strategy should include all the necessary technical steps to assure the availability of stored images to human eyes. This shifts the perspective on what should be considered the digital image in digital preservation. It is not the file, but a perceptible object, or, more specifically—instructions to create one. Therefore, it calls for additional tools to maintain fixity, such as perceptual hashing, transformation logging, and others. Full article
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Open AccessDiscussion
Speaking Stones: Oral Tradition as Provenance for the Memorial Stelae in Gujarat
Heritage 2019, 2(2), 1085-1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2020071
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 8 April 2019
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Abstract
Anthropological fieldwork in rural settlements on the west coast of India has unraveled the close connection between lived experiences, spaces and objects. These “inalienable possessions”, in the words of Annette Weiner, help reconstruct the past through the supplementation of oral traditions. Following this [...] Read more.
Anthropological fieldwork in rural settlements on the west coast of India has unraveled the close connection between lived experiences, spaces and objects. These “inalienable possessions”, in the words of Annette Weiner, help reconstruct the past through the supplementation of oral traditions. Following this vein, the paper attempts to mesh together the material culture and oral histories to establish the provenance for the plethora of memorials in the state of Gujarat. A series of oral narratives collected in Western India since 2014 has highlighted the role of medieval memorial stelae that commemorate the deceased heroes of war and their wives and companions. This paper creates a niche for the Gujarati oral tradition as provenance for the continued veneration of these memorials. Field observations from 2014–2016 and notes from research in Gujarat from 1985 onwards enabled the study of patterns in the oral preservation of literature. A systematic documentation of the existing stelae and associated oral traditions has informed the views in this paper. The paper speaks to all levels of interaction and the making of an identity for the memorial stones that are unique to the state of Gujarat. A case for the inclusion of such rich material in museum displays is made in connection with this case study of the memorial stelae in Gujarat. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
ORION—Art Collections and Collectors in Portugal
Heritage 2019, 2(2), 1045-1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2020068
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract
ORION is a digital art history research-oriented project focused on the study of art collections and collectors in Portugal, supported on a relational database management system. Besides the obvious advantage of organizing and systematizing an enormous amount of information, promoting its analysis, this [...] Read more.
ORION is a digital art history research-oriented project focused on the study of art collections and collectors in Portugal, supported on a relational database management system. Besides the obvious advantage of organizing and systematizing an enormous amount of information, promoting its analysis, this database was specifically designed to highlight the relationships between data. Its relational capacity is not only one of the most relevant features of ORION, but a differentiating quality, one step forward in comparison to other international databases and studies that use digital methodologies. This article discusses the methods and the advantages of using ORION in research related to the history of collecting, art markets and provenance of art objects in Portugal, where it is the very first time that an approach such as this is intended, looking for a systematization of data that paves the way to the emergence of new research questions. Furthermore, and because ORION aims to share the data and knowledge with other projects, institutions and researchers, the database uses different international standards, such as data structure (CIDOC-OIC and Getty-CDWA), controlled vocabulary (Iconclass, Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), and Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)) and communication and exchange of information (CIDOC-CRM). Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Using LIDO for Evolving Object Documentation into CIDOC CRM
Heritage 2019, 2(1), 1023-1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010066
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Over the last years, many projects and institutions have worked on transforming object documentation from several existing cataloguing systems into a CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC CRM) compliant graph representation, as expressed in RDF. There were also various attempts to provide a generally [...] Read more.
Over the last years, many projects and institutions have worked on transforming object documentation from several existing cataloguing systems into a CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC CRM) compliant graph representation, as expressed in RDF. There were also various attempts to provide a generally valid path for the transfer of data from Lightweight Information Describing Objects (LIDO), CIDOC’s recommended XML Schema for metadata harvesting, into representations that are suitable for the Semantic Web. They all face the challenge that a detailed mapping, which fully exploits the CRM’s expressiveness and requires semantic assumptions that may not always turn out to be valid. Broad mappings, on the other hand, fail to leverage the potential of Semantic Web technologies. In this paper, we propose a method for using LIDO combined with an associated terminology as a means of evolving existing object documentation into CRM-based RDF representations. By clearly distinguishing between controlled vocabulary and ontology, it is possible to transform object data relatively easily into a minimized, though efficient structure using the CIDOC CRM ontology. This structure will open up the whole world of Semantic Web technologies to be used for further semantic refinement and data quality analysis through exploiting the underlying controlled vocabularies Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
D-ark—A Shared Digital Performance Art Archive with a Modular Metadata Schema
Heritage 2019, 2(1), 976-987; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010064
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
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Abstract
Digital objects and documentation of intangible cultural heritage pose new challenges for most museums, which have a long history in preserving tangible objects. Art museums, however, have been working with digital objects for some decades, as they have been collecting media art. Yet, [...] Read more.
Digital objects and documentation of intangible cultural heritage pose new challenges for most museums, which have a long history in preserving tangible objects. Art museums, however, have been working with digital objects for some decades, as they have been collecting media art. Yet, performance art as an ephemeral art form has been a challenge for art museums’ collection work. This article presents a method for archiving digital and audiovisual performance documentation. D-ark (digital performance art archive) is based on a joint effort by the artist community T.E.H.D.A.S., which has created the archive, and Pori Art Museum, which is committed to preserving the archive for the future. The aim is to produce sufficient standardized metadata to support this objective. This article addresses the problems of documenting an ephemeral art form and copyright issues pertaining to both the artist and the videographer. The concept of D-ark includes a modular metadata schema that makes a distinction between descriptive, administrative, and technical metadata. The model is designed to be flexible—new modules of objects or technical metadata can be added in the future, if necessary. D-ark metadata schema deploys the FRBRoo, Premis, VideoMD, and AudioMD standards. Administrative and technical metadata modules abide by Finnish digital preservation specifications. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Ethical and Legal Considerations for Collection Development, Exhibition and Research at Museums Victoria
Heritage 2019, 2(1), 858-867; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010057
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract
With over 17 million collection items, Museums Victoria is the largest museum in Australia. Museums Victoria recognises the public benefit derived from lending and borrowing between collecting institutions and actively participates in the international loans network in order to complement and enhance the [...] Read more.
With over 17 million collection items, Museums Victoria is the largest museum in Australia. Museums Victoria recognises the public benefit derived from lending and borrowing between collecting institutions and actively participates in the international loans network in order to complement and enhance the potential for learning and enjoyment for all audiences. Museums Victoria staff undertook an extensive review of policies and procedures in order to apply for approval for protection under the Australian Government’s Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Scheme (PCOL Scheme), established to administer the Commonwealth Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 (PCOL Act). The PCOL Scheme provides (with some limits) legal protection—immunity from seizure—for Australian and foreign cultural items on loan from overseas lenders for temporary public exhibition in Australia. The Ministry for the Arts also released the Australian Best Practice Guide to Collecting Cultural Material in 2015. The Guide is not a mandatory code. It recommends principles and standards to apply when acquiring collection items and in part for inward and outward loans. In 2016–2017 Museums Victoria staff used the Act and its Regulation along with the Guide to substantially update and formalise previous formal and informal policies and practices, in order to demonstrate its commitment to due diligence endeavours to verify the accuracy of information before acquiring, deaccessioning, borrowing, or lending items. This paper outlines the steps we took and what we have learned since receiving approval as a registered borrower under the PCOL Scheme. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
The Importance of Knowledge of Provenance for the Provenance of Knowledge: The Case of Traditional Costumes Collections in Greece
Heritage 2019, 2(1), 708-716; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage2010045
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
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Abstract
In Greece there are several collections of “traditional costumes”, i.e., garments with a strongly local character, which were in use up to the early 20th century. “Traditional costumes” are directly linked to Modern Greek folk culture: they were formed in its context and [...] Read more.
In Greece there are several collections of “traditional costumes”, i.e., garments with a strongly local character, which were in use up to the early 20th century. “Traditional costumes” are directly linked to Modern Greek folk culture: they were formed in its context and they are its most typical and obvious image. They have often been used as a national icon and are popular with people of all ages, who admire them and, on occasions of national celebrations and dance festivals, take pleasure and pride in dressing in replicas of them. Since they have stopped being worn many decades ago, the existing collections are a major source for their study, and they are respectfully referred to by scholars, the public and makers of replicas. The provenance of these collections—the criteria used, the persons involved, the purposes served, etc.—deeply affects the extent and the nature of our knowledge on the objects included in them. Given the inadequate information usually recorded on provenance issues, a thorough search of all potential sources with an aim to put together ‘biographies’ of collections will help to understand the collecting context of the objects and their respective historical and interpretational value. Full article
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