New Directions for University Museums is intended to help university museum leaders to help them plan strategically in the context of the issues and needs of the 2020s by examining trends affecting them and directions in response to those forces. It will lay out a series of potential directions for university museums in the 21st century using examples from the field.
Although university museums are similar to other museums in their topic areas (art, natural history, archaeology, etc.) they are a unique category that requires special consideration. Today university museums are grappling with new forces that are affecting their future:
These are, in effect, the “new directions” to which the title refers. The main thesis of the book is therefore that university museums are becoming much more outward-facing. They are engaging with the public and with the world at large as never before. In effect, they matter more than ever. This is the overarching “new direction”.
Within this general approach, there are a number of questions that the book addresses:
This book is for all those who work in, benefit from or are interested in university museums. In particular, it is hoped that the book will help university museum leaders who are embarking on strategic plans understand the common issues that are currently affecting their peers, and provide some context and guidance to those leaders as they chart their own paths for the future and to advance larger goals. For faculty, it will show how the museum can help improve undergraduate teaching and graduate student training via highlights and illustrations of new ways in which faculty departments are cooperating and partnering with their campus museums, and from a university administration point of view, how the museum can help the university achieve its bigger strategic goals (such as helping increase the percentage of successful faculty grant applications).
Brad King is Vice President for Strategy with Lord Cultural Resources, an international museum and cultural planning firm. Based in Toronto, he has led or contributed to more than 250 museum planning projects in over 15 countries since joining Lord in 2000, including many university and academic museums. Brad holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Toronto and is the author of chapters in The Manual of Museum Learning (1st ed., 2007) and The Manual of Museum Planning (3rd ed., 2012: Chapter 5, “Understanding Collections”) and is co-editor of The Manual of Museum Learning (2nd ed. 2016).
Part I: The Institutional Context
Introduction to Part I
Chapter 1: University Museums and Collections: A Brief Functional and Historic Overview
Chapter 2: The University Perspective: Defining Value to the Institution
Chapter 3: The University-Based Museum: Aligning Institutional Strategic Goals
Chapter 4: Museum-Administration Relations: Staying Relevant
Chapter 5: The Fine Art of Politics: the Art Museum in the University and the World Beyond
Part II: The Academic Mission: New Directions in Research and Teaching
Introduction to Part II
Chapter 6: Data, Digital Tools, and Information Sharing in the Modern Natural History Museum
Gil Nelson and Elizabeth Ellwood
Chapter 7: The Museum's "Waking Dream": Strategies for Activating Open Storage
Chapter 8: Teaching Across Disciplines: Priming Students for Active Learning in the Art Museum
Chapter 9: Academic Connections Across Disciplines: The Museum as Instigator
Jane Thogerson and Eve Guerry
Chapter 10: Trends in Museum Studies Programs: Supporting Critical Thinkers and Critical Doers
Maria Economou, Katherine Lloyd and Rosie Spooner
Part III: The University Museum in the Community
Introduction to Part III
Chapter 11: Town and Gown: University and College Galleries and Museums and Community Engagement
Chapter 12: Beyond the Museum: Engaging Broad and Diverse Audiences Through Web-based Resources at the University of California Museum of Paleontology
Chapter 13: Working with Refugees in UK University Museums: Opportunities and Challenges for Growth and Reciprocity
Chapter 14: Communicating Research to the Public: Creative Publics, Cross-disciplinary Engagement and Para-academic Practices
Sarah Cook with Bilyana Palankasova
Chapter 15: Community and Place: The Raclin Murphy Museum of Art and the Notre Dame Arts District
Part IV: The University Museum in a Changing World
Introduction to Part IV
Chapter 16: The Potential for University Museums As Change Agents
Chapter 17: Knocking Down the Walls Between Universities and the Public
Chapter 18: Repatriation and Decolonization
Chapter 19: Diversity on the Agenda: Complex Issues and the Contributions of University Museums
Marília Xavier Cury
Chapter 20: Social Justice and the University Museum’s Response/Ability: Code Switching… or Switching the Code?
Conclusion Brad King
About the Editor and the Contributors
This edited volume offers a fascinating look at the unique challenges and opportunities facing university museums. The role of the university museum has changed significantly just over the past few decades, and the authors here clearly demonstrate how today's university museums are uniquely positioned to effect positive change in their home institutions, their local communities, and beyond. Throughout the volume, the authors provide useful insights that will help museum professionals improve their understanding of the value, place, and significance of university museums, and help university leaders adapt to the constantly changing socio-economic and political realities facing university museums worldwide.
8/3/23, ChoiceReviews: This title was included in a roundup of forthcoming titles in Business, 2023.Link: https://www.choice360.org/choice-pick/forthcoming-titles-in-science-technology-2023/