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Community Museums Past & Present


Project information

This research focuses on the development of community museums from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, not only the national heritage institutions founded by private initiative, but also those subsidized by the government and staffed by professionals. The emphasis is on the parties involved, and their agendas. The national heritage discourse has recently been given a new impulse by the conventions of UNESCO (2003) and the Council of Europe (2005), and by the accompanying national and European debates on the canon. In addition, attention is given to the manner in which today’s community museums approach their task of creating a collection and presentation policy which does justice to cultural and social diversity.
Thanks to ICT applications and new museum presentations, it is now possible to present a country’s cultural heritage in ways that transcend the traditional museum setting. What is the future of the community museum as an instrument of integration, when visitors to internet or the narrative, multi-medium exhibition are able to select, combine, research, and experience their own heritage?

Period of funding

1.09.2008 – 31-08.2012

The project is funded by the VSB-foundation, in cooperation with NWO.