Curation has a distinguished history in cultural institutions. In galleries and museums, curators use judgment and a refined sense of style to select and arrange art to create a narrative, evoke a response, and communicate a message. As the digital landscape becomes increasingly complex, and as businesses become ever more comfortable using the web to bring their product and audience closer, the techniques and principles of museum curatorship can inform how we create online experiences—particularly when we approach content.
The word sheer is used to emphasize the lightweight and virtually transparent nature of these curation activities. The term sheer curation was coined by Alistair Miles in the ImageStore project, and the UK Digital Curation Centre’s SCARP project. The approach depends on curators having close contact or ‘immersion’ in data creators’ working practices.