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Communities and history in twenty first century museums in the United Kingdom: Museums as a means of social change

By Sheila Watson


This paper was presented at the II International Conference Museums of Mexico and the World, Bogota, Colombia, October 2008, and will be published in the conference proceedings.Publicly funded museums in the United Kingdom are expected to support a range of government initiatives and devote considerable efforts towards social inclusion and supporting community development. Drawing on specific examples this paper investigates the way history in museums has been used support community identities and examines some of the issues that such instrumentalism raises. The nature of public history and, in particular, museum histories, and the impact history museums can have on community identity when they work closely with their communities are also considered.\ud Two British case studies are presented. One examines issues arising from national museums’ exhibitions in 2007 to commemorate the 1807 Act to abolish the Slave Trade. The other looks at community engagement in a local history museum as part of a regeneration programme in a deprived area in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk

Publisher: National Museum of Colombia
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/7372

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