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    What is a Museum? Difference all the way down

    Candlin, Fiona and Larkin, Jamie (2020) What is a Museum? Difference all the way down. Museum and Society 18 (2), pp. 115-131. ISSN 1479-8360.

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    The Mapping Museums research team recently compiled a dataset of UK museums in existence between 1960 and 2020. In doing so, we had to decide what should be counted as a museum. In this paper, we outline the approaches that we initially took to establish the criteria for selection: adopting a conventional museum definition, using key characteristics, and respecting the venue’s self identification; and we describe why they proved inadequate with respect to the heterogeneity of museum practice. We then explain how assemblage theory helped us conceptualize the complex realities of the museum sector and address the problem of selection. This approach has enabled us to develop a non-essentializing model of museums and to outline a more inclusive account of the UK museum sector.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): small independent museums, definitions, assemblage,
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Museum Cultures, Centre for
    Depositing User: Fiona Candlin
    Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2020 13:31
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:04


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