Originally, a curate was a dude in a long block cloak who was an assistant to a pastor or rector at an Episcopal parish.
And there were art curators at museums, who if they really wanted job security had English accents and Ph.D.s in Art History. At the zoo, there were the Reptile Curators, Mammal Curators and Marine Life Curator. (They all had Ph.D.s too.)
But recently, the word curate has become, dare I suggest it, cool. Design blogs are curated. Art/music/culture events are curated. And even the merchandise in fashionable boutiques is curated.
Thank goodness, because we need curators more than ever.
Just think how much bombards you everyday on the Internet. You could spend hours wading through all the crap to find the rare things that that inspire and make you say, “Damn, that’s good.” The home page for Brain Pickings says it takes almost 200 hours a month to edit and compile content for that amazing site. And just like the curator back at the museum, who selects are pieces to be seen as a collection, a digital curator selects items than may change in meaning when juxtaposed against other items. So really, the act of editing, has become an art form in itself: the art of curating.