START Conference Manager    

ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012 

Information, Photographs, & the Cultural Inventory: What John Collier, Jr. Offers Contemporary Researchers
Leslie Thomson

Monday, 6:30pm


This poster offers historical, theoretical, and chiefly methodological insights into studying information based around the work of visual anthropologist John Collier, Jr. Collier pioneered "cultural" and "photographic inventories" as means to systematically capture social phenomena. Collier's inventorying method is briefly introduced, then the analysis of a small sample (of 47 photographs total) of his work in which "information items" feature prominently is described in light of salient concerns in contemporary information studies. This detailing serves as a miniature case study from which today's information scholars can learn to: utilize visual data gathering techniques effectively in their research designs; analyze visual data appropriately in their work; and incorporate visual data in their reports with maximal impact. This poster makes the often-fraught arena of visual research accessible to the information field, providing sorely lacking advice on employing the toolkit of innovative and data-enlivening methods visual approaches extol.