Collecting in the 21st CenturyFrom Museums to the Internet: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century
2022, Rochester: Camden House
Johannes Endres, co-edited with Christoph Zeller

Seminal to the rise of human cultures, the practice of collecting is an expression of individual and societal self-understanding. Through collections, cultures learn and grow. The introduction of digital technology has accelerated this process and at the same time changed how, what, and whywe collect. Ever-expanding storage capacities and the accumulation of unprecedented amounts of data are part of a highly complex information economy in which collecting has become even more important for the formation of the past, present, and future. Museums, libraries, and archives have adapted to the requirements of a digital environment, as has anyone who browses the internet and stores information on hard drives or cloud servers. In turn, companies follow the digital footprint we leave behind. Today, collecting includes not only physical objects but also the binary code that allows for their virtual representation on screen. Collecting in the Twenty-First Centuryidentifies the impact of technology, both new and old, on the cultural practice of collecting as well as the challenges and opportunities of collecting in the digital era. Scholars from German Studies, Media Studies, Museum Studies, Sound Studies, Information Technology, and Art History as well as librarians and preservationists offer insights into the most recent developments in collecting practices.