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Title: Museums and Memories: remembering the past in local and community museums
Contributor(s): Wilton, Janis (author)
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: There is a range of memories which are created and promoted through museums: the memories of the past conjured by curators, the national memories peddled by politicians, the memories contested by communities, the memories of museum visits collected by museum visitors and the memories and memorialising of collectors and their collections. These memories jostle for space within museums and within the growing literature about museums. They flow into broader studies about the relationship between memory and history and about the role of memory in cultural studies. They underpin debates about what should be presented in museums. They highlight aspects of the changes underway in the world of museums. This article explores a selection of these memories and the issues they raise. It begins with the tensions and innovations created as curators, communities and critics increasingly seek to control or at least share the power to select and interpret the memories presented in museums. It then looks at the ways in which the memories and memorialising of founding collectors, their collections and museum practices influence the shape and tone of museums. Finally, attention turns to the memorable museum moments which visitors take with them and the extent to which these moments are edging museums in different directions. The emphasis throughout is not on the large and relatively well resourced state and national institutions. These provide counterpoints. Rather, the examples used come primarily from much younger local and community museums whose existence depends so much on the people and places whose (hi)stories they tell.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Public History Review, v.12, p. 58-79
Publisher: UTS ePress
Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia
ISSN: 1833-4989
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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