This exciting new series recognizes the tremendous potential of museum-based histories and the ways in which they can engage people with ideas about the past. People encounter and use museums on many different levels - personal, social and intellectual - and access meanings that best fit their agendas. Histories in museums can stimulate the imagination, provoke discussion and increase our ability to question what we know. From this it can be deduced that history in museums is as much about the present as it is about the past; as much about how we feel as about what we know; as much about who we are as about who we have been. The first volume in the series, Making Histories in Museums, examines museological features, but deals particularly with hte historiographical issues that have presiously been underplayed. Each contributor looks at theoretical frameworks within a specific field of study, using case studies and comparisons of practice. Good practice is highlighted and potential ways forward explored.
This book will prove an invaluable resource for all those concerned with or interested in museums - museum professionals, museum students, historians and students of history, as well as the general reader.
Gaynor Kavanaugh is head of Graduate Studies and principal lecturer in History at Bath Spa University.