History and Theory of Cultural Heritage Institutions: Spring 2012


Sally Stokes


Catholic University of America


Spring 2012


This course provides the 21st-century SLIS-CHIM student with an overview of the history and theory of institutions whose mission is to collect, preserve, organize, interpret, and disseminate information about the cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, and by direct or virtual means. Students will gain a grasp of the purpose and mission of these institutions, from the “cabinet of curiosities” to the virtual collections that cross boundaries among libraries, museums, and
archives, as well as cultural organizations that protect and interpret buildings and sites of cultural and historical significance or are dedicated to grass-roots efforts to promote the protection of heritage. The course will cover ethics, collection and curatorial practices, and the visitor/user experience, as well as the meaning of cultural heritage in the global environment.

Required Textbook:

Cameron, Fiona, and Sarah Kenderdine, eds. 2010. Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage.
Alexander, Edward P., and Mary Alexander. 2007. Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums. 2nd ed.
Karp, Ivan, ed. 2006. Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations.
Kurin, Richard. 1997. Reflections of a Culture Broker.

Link to Syllabus:


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