Collections, Collectors and the Collecting of Knowledge in Education (chapters for book)

Peter Carrier's picture
Call for Publications
January 30, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Archival Science, Educational Technology, Intellectual History, Library and Information Science, Research and Methodology

This collection will address collections, collectors and the collecting of knowledge in educational media such as textbooks, primers, atlases, teaching materials (objects and images, including wall charts and maps), curricula and teachers’ and youth guidebooks. It will explore the objects and structures of material and digital collections, the aims and motivations of public bodies and private persons who collect them, and the means by which they are collected, preserved, archived and disseminated. How and why are the sources of educational media research conceived, selected, collected and managed? Who creates and maintains collections, and for whom? And what influence do modes of collecting have on researchers and their work – and on our knowledge of the knowledge production process? This special issue brings together case studies of the places, spaces, times, agents, aims, methods and contexts, and uses and users, of educational resources, but also offers insight into theoretical understandings of the specific nature of secondary sources of knowledge, drawing on the fields of anthropology, economics, geography, history, psychology and sociology. We welcome contributions dealing with such topics as

Special collections of textbooks and/or teaching materials

Collection typologies worldwide

Changing ways of collecting educational media from mediaeval times to the present day

The threshold between private and public collections. How do libraries anticipate and integrate legacies?

Expedient vs. accidental and incidental collections. The relative roles of interest, chance or arbitrariness

Provenance research

Collectors’ biographies and their motivations

Challenges faced by researchers when consulting collections

Passions of primer collecting between coveting and fetishisation?

Principles of collecting (from knowledge sharing to knowledge competition, from expediency to standards, or from private caprice to public norms)

Defining and reconciling the interests of collectors and users. Who governs knowledge production?

Decollecting. Who throws out what and why?

The changing conception of librarianship. From curatorial to managerial authority

The institutional markets of the textbook collection process. Ebay, auctioning, bartering and the role of rarity

The imbalance ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ collectable fields. Home economics, health, primers vs. history and geography

Re- and decontextualising books as they pass from one collection to another


Articles should contain a maximum of 7000 words including references, and should adhere to the guidelines of the Modern Humanities Research Association (  



31 January 2018: Title and abstract (max. 300 words)

31 Juni 2018: Full article (max. 7000 words)

31 August 2018: Feedback from the editors

31 November 2018: Revised article


We look forward to receiving your abstract.

Contact Info: 

Peter Carrier and Anke Hertling, Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Braunschweig, Germany

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