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Putting Away the Things of Childhood: Museum Representations of Children’s Cultural Heritage


Pascoe Leahy, C, Putting Away the Things of Childhood: Museum Representations of Children's Cultural Heritage, Children, Childhood and Cultural Heritage, Routledge, K Darian-Smith and C Pascoe (ed), London, UK, pp. 209 - 221. ISBN 9780203080641 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Routledge

DOI: doi:10.4324/9780203080641


In popular imagery, childhood is constructed as an age of joyful innocence and carefree play. It is hardly surprising then, that when we think of children’s objects, what springs to mind are toys: those archetypal symbols of childhood. Museum collections and exhibitions relating to the history of children have tended to reflect and perpetuate this trend. And, as the passage from the Corinthians cited above suggests, by focusing on the playful material culture of children, museum representations of childhood have often implied that children’s heritage is less serious and less important than that of adults. We ‘put away’ the things of childhood when we are ready to take on the roles and responsibilities of adults, as full members of society. In ‘putting away’ toys for preservation as representative of children’s lives, museums can in many ways exacerbate this longstanding cultural trend to not take children seriously on their own terms.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:history, heritage, children, childhood, museum
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Pascoe Leahy, C (Dr Carla Pascoe Leahy)
ID Code:148731
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2022-02-04
Last Modified:2022-07-28

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