Collections Histories, Ethics and Responsibilities

The RCMC is committed to the further development of ethical and responsible approaches for the acquisition, care and display of our collections. Collections Histories, Ethics and Responsibilites thus seeks to bring various pressing themes, issues and discussions to productively bear upon Museum policy and practice.

Collections Histories, Ethics and Responsibilities will be an ongoing research program that is committed to a better understanding of how our collections were formed, the relationships that they embody, and the development of more ethical approaches to museum practices. With this focus we are interested in ongoing research on new practices for collecting, preserving and utilizing museum collections; on questions of ownership, authority and access; and on issues of restitution. Moving forward, we will critically explore a new ethics of collecting. What concerns should inform our collecting practices. For instance, should we pursue collecting as a political act? How do we collect the contemporary? What do we want to collect and why? Collections Histories, Ethics and Responsibilities will emphasize methodologies of co-creation: working closely with different stakeholder communities, including people from originating communities and other ‘local experts’. Working with stakeholder communities will form an important part of the research methodologies that the RCMC adopts.