Why Research? Asia Art Archive’s Collection Development. A lecturer by David Smith


David Smith describes the key method of Asia Art Archive — developing archive collections through commissioned research.

The appraisal, arrangement, and description of collections are established through a research process between AAA researchers and the artist, organization, or owner of the collection. This approach allows AAA to build its collections around key areas of interest or priorities based on user research needs without impacting any arrangement of the source physical material. The talk will present two case studies to outline some of the strategies AAA has used to develop collections through research. Some of the benefits and risks through this approach and how AAA hopes to develop these processes in the future are also discussed.


David Smith is Head of Collections and Digital Experience at the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong. He has worked at national heritage institutions including the Imperial War Museum, London and Archives New Zealand. At Archives New Zealand, Smith managed the Government's audio-visual collection, establishing digital access and overseeing restoration of the collection including key works such as classic New Zealand film, This is New Zealand. In 2012, he successfully secured the NZ National Film Unit Newsreel collection's addition to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. Currently Smith is leading the complete revamp of Asia Art Archives' work and presence in the digital space.


Free admission with advance registration.

The talk is part of the fourth session of the conference.