This fifth edition of the highly successful summer school Things That Matter addresses the tension between the materiality of sources and their digitization. The recent advances of digital technology have created new modes of reproduction and forms of consumption that have substantially reshaped the concepts of ‘object’ and of ‘collection’ at the heart of cultural institutions such as libraries and museums.
The summer school engages with key questions that arise from the study of the past in the digital age. These issues include the changing nature of objects such as books and scientific instruments as source materials; the history and practice of collections and collecting, digitization and its challenges, both technological and intellectual.
TTM 5 maps the possibilities and challenges posed by the digital age. The ongoing process of digitization makes sources of the past available in a previously unknown extent, but what does this mean for researchers?
We will also discuss the role of objects in Public History. How does society approach the legacy of “things” in museums and heritage institutions? Which objects are “worth keeping”, why and when? Who determines the selection process and what are selection criteria for curators, archivists and other agents in the sector? What collections are digitized and why those? Who makes the selections? How do we meet scientific demands on systematic design and transparency when working on online search engines and differing (and sometimes incompatible) designs of data bases?
The summer school brings together experts from both academia and the cultural heritage sector. Over the course of one week of intensive teaching, they will deliver lectures, lead seminars and hands-on sessions in libraries and museums, and supervise student-led projects and presentations. After 4 successful editions in Groningen, the summer school is now hosted by one of its partners; Uppsala University in Sweden.