Social Media as a Site for Contemporary Collecting

In the sixth in a series of seminars organised by the Museum Social Media Cultures Research Network, Dr Arran Rees will look at social media as a site for contemporary collecting.

This seminar will look at how we might consider social media platforms as sites for contemporary collecting in museums.

As more and more of our contemporary culture plays out on these digital platforms, they become increasingly important as environments where cultural, technical, and political events and developments unfold.

During the seminar, we will look at the types of collecting that might take place through social media, some of the practical considerations around acquiring and accessioning social media artifacts and reflect on the ethical dimensions of collecting from social media.

Four case studies will consider how collecting born-digital objects from social media sites adds layers of complexity to the acquisition process:

There are ethical dimensions to any collecting activity and collecting from social media raises questions around informed consent, responsible approaches to preservation, and notions of ownership. The talk will touch on all of these and offer opportunities to reflect on and discuss the implications of them.

About the speaker

Dr Arran Rees is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. Arran's research intersects with digital cultural heritage, queer heritage, museum studies, collections management and online remix cultures. He is currently working on the AHRC-funded Towards a National Collection project, Congruence Engine.

Booking information

This seminar takes place online. It is free to attend but booking is required.

Book your place.

All welcome: ideal for researchers, students, museum professionals and social media managers.

About the seminar series

This event is part of programme of Museum and Social Media Online Seminars which brings together researchers and museum professionals to discuss how museums and visitors use social media.

The seminars are organised by the Museum Social Media Cultures Research Network.

Find out about all six seminars in the series.


Museum Social Media Cultures Research Network logo (designed by Emma June Huebner) and photo of Arran Rees.