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Boxed: Joseph Cornell in the Hirshhorn Museum

Mid-term Requirements

Subject Matter and Objects

I chose these collection objects when I was exploring the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s permanent collection. At the time, I was interested in applying for a summer opportunity in collection management and was trying to get a sense of the Museum’s holdings. In particular, I chose Joseph Cornell’s assemblage boxes because the Museum has just over ten works and I thought the multiplicity of materials would make cataloguing interesting.


Objects, Images, and Data

Images and information for this collection were gathered from the Hirshhorn Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden and The Smithsonian Institution under The Smithsonian Institution’s Terms of Use at Additionally, The Smithsonian Collections Search Center is an online catalog containing most of Smithsonian major collections from our museums, archives, libraries, and research units. There are 13.5 million catalog records with over 3.1 million images, videos, audio files, podcasts, blog posts and electronic journals. 


Required Fields

I used the following fields based on best practices and standards from the 5th Edition of Museum Registration Methods: creator, date, medium, type, subject, provenance, rights, rights holder, identifier, and format.

Buck, R. A., Gilmore, J. A., & American Association of Museums (Eds.). (2010). MRM5: Museum registration methods (5th ed). AAM Press, American Association of Museums.


Standardized Vocabularies

For the creator field, I used the Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) which is a structured vocabulary of artist names and biographical information. For the medium field, I used Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) common in museum collections and cataloguing. For the subject field, I used the Library of Congress Subject Headings.


Cataloguing as an Object

I catalogued the collection as the objects would be documented in a collection management system.