This article reports on the first part of a two-part study that traces the evolution of the Canadian Museum of History's catalog of its ethnological collections from 1879 to the present day. Drawing on the insights of rhetorical genre studies, we examine how the catalog has been implicated in the formation and shaping of anthropological knowledge in the museum over the course of its history. In this first part, we focus on the ledgers that served as the catalog between 1879 and 1960 and examine how they participated in collecting, ordering, and transforming knowledge within the museum during that time period. In specific terms, we explore the sociohistorical context in which the ledger catalog emerged, the kinds of knowledge it communicated through its structure and content, and the particular understanding of Indigenous material culture as embodied knowledge it communicated and perpetuated over time.


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pp. 169-191
Launched on MUSE
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