INF 388E - Historical Museums: Context and Practice
Graduate standing and consent of instructor.
The process of exhibit creation in historical museums, from planning through development to opening and maintenance, as a negotiation among stakeholders for influence on the story that is told. Students visit local historical museums and examine how presentations are influenced by the institutional position of the museum, including its history and resources; the concerns of museum employees; the influence of the audience and of those who are directly affected or represented by an exhibit; and the role of contractual professionals. Three lecture hours a week for one semester.
he purpose of this course is to look at
and think about the process of museum exhibit creation in
historical museums, from planning through development to opening
and maintenance, as a negotiation among many stakeholders for
influence upon the story that is told. We will consider the many
facets of historical museums: their institutional positioning,
including history and resources; the interests and concerns of
museum employees (registrars, researchers, curators,
conservators, education specialists, support staff, and
volunteers); the influence of the public, both the "audience"
public and those whose interests are directly affected and/or
represented by an exhibit's story; and the role of contractual
professionals when they are used (designers, exhibit construction
firms, visitor studies experts). As a field for the study of this
knowledge we will use the range of historical museums and
museum-like venues in Austin where informal learning about
history is available to citizens.