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|Title: ||Motivation for creating the Museum of Scotland, and the educational effectiveness of its history content for the visiting public|
|Authors: ||Cramond, Ronald Duncan|
|Supervisor(s): ||Devine, Tom|
|Issue Date: ||Jun-2011|
|Publisher: ||The University of Edinburgh|
|Abstract: ||My aim was to investigate the motivation for creating the Museum of Scotland, and the
educational effectiveness of its history content for the visiting public,.
Part One examines the creation and purpose of the Museum of Scotland.
What was its origin? Why have a Museum of Scotland at all? What was the motivation
of the Trustees and staff who campaigned and raised funds for it, and created the
displays? (This Part draws mostly on primary sources such as unpublished Trustee,
Advisory Board, and Committee reports, minutes and papers, letters; and Hansard).
Part Two summarises the views of academic authorities and museum practitioners on
the role of museums in education and learning. Their writings parallel the change in
thinking in NMS, described in Part One, from primarily just collection and conservation of
objects, to a vision of displaying to the public the ‘Wealth’ of historical and cultural
heritage that had been collected. (This Part is almost entirely based on secondary
sources – published books and articles).
Part Three analyses how far the displays, as actually mounted, embody the vision of the
creators. What do visitors get from the labels, interpretation, audio guides, guided tours,
and interactives? (This is based partly on personal observation of the displays,
influenced by published authorities on display techniques, partly on personal discussions
with several curators, and partly on access to an important, unpublished primary source
– the minutes and papers of the Exhibition Review Committee which monitored the
creation of the displays).
Part Four discusses attempts to evaluate visitor reaction. This Part analyses reports on
unpublished visitor surveys of ‘Special Exhibitions’ by the National Museums of
Scotland, Glasgow Museums Service, Merseyside Museums and Galleries, and the
Imperial War Museum (North). It also contains a completely new visitor survey of the
Museum of Scotland displays, geared specifically to Generic Learning Outcomes. It was
organised and undertaken by this researcher, with help from several NMS volunteer
guides, who conducted some of the interviews. It was supplemented by discussions with visitors in ‘mini groups’ and by feedback from two history teachers about visits by their students. The overall conclusion is that visitors did indeed learn from good, object-based displays, but many visitors, even native Scots, had disappointingly little understanding of Scottish history before their visit.|
Museum of Scotland
|Appears in Collections:||History and Classics PhD thesis collection|
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