Manufactures, archaeology and bygones: making a sense of place in civic museums, 1850-1914

Hill, Kate (2013) Manufactures, archaeology and bygones: making a sense of place in civic museums, 1850-1914. International Journal of Regional and Local History, 8 (1). pp. 54-74. ISSN 2051-4530

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This article considers the extent and nature of the ways in which civic museums created a sense of place in the period 1850-1914. The local has been shown to be constructed in visual culture, such as architecture, paintings and engravings, as well as in civic ritual, but museum collections and displays had the potential to present both emotional and scientific understandings of place together. The article examines the the construction of place through the identification of places with particular industries, through the historicisation of local government, through the display of the distant, archaeological past, and through displays focused on the 'everyday' past which was increasingly seen as imaginatively accessible within and beyond the present. It suggests that throughout the period museums were an important part of localities' attempts to define and enhance local attitudes especially in the face of rivalry or perceived 'London-centric' attitudes. However, they were torn between presenting the locality as progressive and modern, or as historically rooted, forwards or backwards facing; and equally they had to tread a fine line between presenting the locality as parochial or as having a universal importance.

Keywords:Museums, Local history, sense of place, bmjconvert, Digitised
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V321 Local History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:9616
Deposited On:27 May 2013 18:56

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