GETTING STARTED: CLASS BRAINSTORMING
When searching for sources for your Object Biography, your research strategy (which database and/or search engines you select) will be dependent on the following factors:
- WHERE is the object ?
- More library databases and search engines focus on U.S. than international
- International sources might not be translated
- Digitized sources (images, reports, correspondence, etc.) are more readily available for the U.S. and Western Europe
- Availability of public information such as city reports, government documents, vary per country
- Availability of state sources varies per state
- WHEN when was the object produced?
- The "explosion" of documentation is a phenomena of the late 20th century, prior to that sources were more scarce
- The internet is a better source of information for more recent materials (last 20 years). Access to older sources is more limited:
- through libraries' subscription databases
- in digitized archives if the collection has been digitized and if it is available freely on the web
- in non-digitized archives, either on-site in person, or through mediated requests) through libraries) or in digitized collections or only be documented on the internet will
- WHO created/sponsored the object ?
- The narrative about the object is conditioned by its origin:
- Public monuments (e.g. national parks) are documented in public sources (e.g. government reports)
- Documents about privately commissioned objects are available only at the discretion of the owner of the object (e.g. by foundations, museums)
- Objects in public spaces (e.g. outdoor parks) are more likely to be discussed, commented on