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Museum outreach programs creating sense of place


Vanclay, FM and Wills, J and Lane, R, Museum outreach programs creating sense of place, Making Sense of Place, National Museum of Australia Press, Vanclay F, Higgins M and Blackshaw A (ed), Canberra, ACT, pp. 279-287. ISBN 9781876944513 (2008) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2008 National Museum of Australia Press

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Museums are reaching out to new audiences. In outreach programs they are using new methods and embracing a wider range of topics to go beyond the confines of their buildings to engage with communities in new ways. Once criticised for being elitist, museums now seek to increase their relevance in the world and to appeal to a wider range of people. Public institutions are increasingly required to justify why they should be financially supported. Their role in society can no longer be taken for granted. This chapter explores how museums can be in the service of society by highlighting some of the outreach programs of the National Museum of Australia that have a sense of place focus.

Over the past few decades there has been a somewhat contested change in philosophy in the field of museum studies with the rise of the 'new museology'. While some institutions continue with a traditional notion of museum, others extend beyond being warehouses of artefacts to being sites of interpretation. There is an increasing acceptance of multiple interpretations of objects and the social construction of knowledge, rather than perpetuation of traditional modes of a singular definitive expert statement of fact about history or an object. Interpretation now occurs through multiple narratives at different scales and from different perspectives, from the personal to the national.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:museum, outreach program, sense of place, interpretation
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental education and awareness
UTAS Author:Vanclay, FM (Professor Francis Vanclay)
UTAS Author:Wills, J (Ms Joanna Wills)
ID Code:45496
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2008-06-12
Last Modified:2012-11-07

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