Metacollecting and use of “collection-objects” in prosopographical studies of meteorite collections

Arnaud Mignan

Vol. 4, Nos. 1–2, 2016, 11–22
DOI 10.5277/met160102

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“This essay examines the concept of metacollecting in the context of prosopographical studies. Using meteorite collection as a study case, it demonstrates the need for the development of a comprehensive collection attribute database, which does not only include collectors’ names but also forensic information, such as the handwriting style and printing process used in the production of labels, inventory numbers, etc. After a description of a pilot prosopography study on the history of meteorite collecting, the concept of “collection-objects” is introduced and a socio-historical collection index (SHCI) is proposed to help curators determine SHCI SHCI the socio-historical a priori value of a meteorite specimen in disregard of its scientific or monetary value. A high SHCI often represents a factual chain-of-custody, which can be used as input in prosopography.”