Museum Studies in the Twenty-First Century: Theory and Praxis (September 2017)

This essay first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Choice (volume 55 | issue 1).


In 2014, the Institute for Museum and Library Services released a report revealing that in the United States active museums numbered 35,000, some 10,000 more than the number of Starbucks and McDonald’s combined.1 Together these museums sustain some 400,000 jobs.2 This essay looks at the literature on museum studies—also referred to as museum science and museology—which extends back some hundred years. Though some of the early germane sources are included in the essay—e.g., seminal works of John Cotton Dana, John Dewey, George Brown Goode—the focus is recent literature that speaks to the ways in which museums have begun to challen…

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About the author:

Juilee Decker, PhD, is associate professor of museum studies at Rochester Institute of Technology.