Here is a complete introduction to the history of museums, types of museums, and the key roles that museums play in the twenty-first century. Following an introductory chapter looking at what a museum is today, Part I looks at the history and types of museums: art and design museums natural history and anthropology museums science museums history museums, historic houses, interpretation centers, and heritage sites botanical gardens and zoos children's museums The second part of the book explores the primary functions of museums and museum professionals: to collect to conserve to exhibit to interpret and to engage to serve and to act The final chapter looks at the museum profession and professional practices. Throughout, emphasis is on museums in the United States, although attention is paid to the historical framing of museums within the European context. The new edition includes discussions of technology, access, and inclusivity woven into each chapter, a list of challenges and opportunities in each chapter, and "Museums in Motion Today," vignettes spread throughout the volume in which museum professionals provide their perspectives on where museums are now and where they are going. More than 140 images illustrate the volume.
About the Author
Edward Porter Alexander's illustrious museum career extended from 1934-1978. In recognition of his contributions to the field, The American Alliance of Museums added him to their Centennial Honor Roll in 2006. Mary Alexander has been a museum educator and administrator for nearly fifty years. She was associate editor for Museum Education Anthology (1984) and co-authored Museums: Places of Learning (1998) with George Hein. Juilee Decker is an associate professor of Museum Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where she teaches courses focusing on museums and technology. She has served as editor for Innovative Approaches for Museums, a four-volume series focusing on technology and digital initiatives, engagement and access, collections care and stewardship, and fundraising and strategic planning (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). Since 2008, she has served as editor of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals, a peer-reviewed journal published by Rowman & Littlefield.