The underlying theme of this book is the excitement, and challenge, of creating and transforming collections. The Gulf States are in the middle of "the most explosive per capita museum building boom in history". And this exponential growth is fuelled by many new methods of amassing, preserving or recording the collections which fill them: public or private, archaeological, historical or artistic. In thirteen detailed case-studies and 540 pages, Museums and the Material World provides a unique insight into the pioneering policies and practices of collection building in the region - which in so many ways mirror and support nation-building and the formation of national identity. Editor Pamela Erskine-Loftus comments: "Social, cultural and traditional practice shapes collecting in the Peninsula. But wherever we are, and whatever we collect, we can all learn from the narratives collected here, which examine globally relevant themes: nation, identity and object; the relevance of the character of the collector, and their view of collecting; the intangible aspect of tangible objects; and ongoing changes in the management of collections."