Course:1: Archives and Archivists
Lesson:Lesson Three: Historical Record Collections
Topic:Types of Materials Held: Artifacts and Objects


Types of Materials Held, continued

Artifacts and Objects

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Artifacts and objects are unique, tangible objects created for a certain purpose by individuals, organizations, and even nature.

Artifacts and objects may be collected and preserved by museums and other historical organizations, often to document specific themes (natural history, aviation, music). 

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A museum is an organization that preserves and makes artifacts and objects of historical value available as exhibits to the public for educational or aesthetic purposes. If you have objects in your collections, they need to be managed using museum practices.

James Brown's Tuxedo
James Brown's Tuxedo Stage Jacket, 1983. Red with satin and rhinestone lapels.

Photo by Design Photography
Collection of James Brown, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, home of the founder of the Girl Scouts of America, is run by that organization as a museum of 19th-century furnishings, memorabilia, and artwork that belonged to the Gordon family and Juliette Low. Above is a toy in the collection.