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ANTH 250 Museum Anthropology (Fall 2017)

Blue Willow PlateThe resources in this guide will help you to learn more about the tableware that you have been assigned to research. Using a variety of resources (both primary and secondary) will help you to understand how your object was produced, sold, purchased, and used and by whom. Having some knowledge the cultural contexts in which your piece was used will give you a fuller perspective.

Context Setting Questions

Who Who produced the object? Who is the intended user of the object? Who is the intended purchaser of the object? Keep in mind ideas of social status, gender, age, race?

What What is the object? What is the intended use? Was it for everyday use or special use (a luxury item)? 

Where Where was the object produced? Was it imported? 

When When was the item produced and used? What were the big social, economic, cultural issues at this time? 

Why Why is this object significant and different than other similar objects?


Deeper Historical & Contextual Sources

These sources will be helpful to you in understanding more about the contexts in which your piece was produced and was used.

Primary Source Materials

Original or digitized versions of materials printed at a particular moment in history that can be used to help us to understand that moment in history. For your purposes magazines, newspapers, and catalogs will be especially helpful. You may also wish to look for materials targeted at female readers anc examine materials on etiquette.



Daisy Benson





Bailey/Howe Library, Room 100