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2022 SIG-AH Virtual Symposium

Documenting, Describing, Differentiating: Stories of Singular Object Collections

Thursday, April 21, 2022

12:00 PM -  4:00 EDT

As information professionals, we may be familiar with the general requirements for accessioning, documentation, and management of arts and humanities object collections. But what happens when you have a very specific object collection? General schemas, content standards, and controlled vocabularies often will not reach into these darker corners of collection management. To discuss some of these issues, we have gathered a set of speakers to share about how they manage and describe specific object collections. What additional vocabulary are needed? Beyond an individual identifier, how do you differentiate one seemingly similar object from a thousand others? How do amateur collectors approach their collections and these questions in comparison with institutional curators? We hope to answer some of these questions by inviting a combination of amateur and institutional collectors to share their focused collections in this engaging half-day symposium.


Lucas Petzold

Lucas Petzold is a CPA, Tax Accountant, and Attorney specializing in tax law. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a MS in Taxation from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and also serves as a Notary Public.

Despite his very busy work schedule, especially at this time of year, he enjoys collecting a number of different types of objects. His Buddha collection is one of his most extensive, featuring hundreds of figures from various countries and cultural backgrounds. He will speak to us about the different types of Buddhas, the various symbolism used within various cultures to represent the Buddha, and how he keeps track of his collection and notes similarities and differences among items.

Michèle Cloonan

Michèle Valerie Cloonan is Professor and Dean Emerita in the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University, where she continues to advise doctoral students and conduct research. Prior to that she was associate professor and chair in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. Before she became a professor, she was a librarian at the Newberry Library, Brown University, and Smith College. She has been a leader in LIS education and is a former president of the Association for Library & Information Science Education.

Professor Cloonan’s area of expertise is the preservation of cultural heritage. She has written dozens of articles, chapters, and books on the subject. Two of her recent books have been awarded prizes: Preserving Our Heritage: Perspectives from Antiquity to the Digital Age (ALA) won the Society of American Archivists Preservation Publication Award in 2016, and The Monumental Challenge of Preservation: The Past in a Volatile World (MIT Press), won the 2019 University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation Book Prize. She is also a past recipient of the Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award of the American Library Association. She has received grants—individually and with colleagues—from NEH, NSF, IMLS, the California State Library, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kress Foundation, IREX, and other organizations.

Cloonan has an A.B. from Bennington College, an A.M. from the University of Chicago—both in the humanities—and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in library and information science. She has been a consultant in higher education in the U.S. and Iraq since 2004. We are pleased to have her present on her personal collection of cameos, which numbers in the hundreds.

Debbie Behan Garrett – DeeBeeDee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum:

Debbie Behan Garrett's interest in collecting black dolls commenced after the 1991 catalog purchase of a 'collectible' porcelain doll intended as a gift for her daughter. After the doll's arrival, the decision to keep the doll and to begin a collection ensued. Her avid interest in black-doll history prompted research on dolls made during and before her childhood. She has written three books on the subject of black Dolls: The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls, 2003; Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion, 2008; and the Doll Blogs: When Dolls Speak I ListenThe Doll Blogs is the first book featuring dolls that blog their experiences with their human.

As an associate Motor City Doll Club member, Garrett is also a member of the United Federation of Doll Clubs.  She has contributed articles to their Doll News quarterly publication and their 2017 convention souvenir journal. Garrett's articles have also been published in Doll Castle NewsContemporary Doll CollectorBritish Doll ShowcaseDOLLS magazineDollReader, and Fashion Doll Quarterly.  Garrett maintains her personal Black Doll Collecting blog and the Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black blog where, respectively, she writes about her personal collection and periodically profiles past and present doll companies and doll artists.

On January 17, 2021, during the height of the pandemic, Garrett founded DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum™ ( where antique, vintage, modern, and one-of-a-kind black dolls are curated and installed. The goal of the museum is to provide an online black-doll identification resource.

Garrett, a native Texan, is the married mother of two adult children and the doting granny of two boys. She holds a degree in Business Administration and is a retired senior healthcare documentation analyst.