Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums (American Association for State and Local History)

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9780759105096: Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums (American Association for State and Local History)

In 1979, Edward P. Alexander's Museums in Motion was hailed as a much-needed addition to the museum literature. In combining the history of museums since the eighteenth century with a detailed examination of the function of museums and museum workers in modern society, it served as an essential resource for those seeking to enter to the museum profession and for established professionals looking for an expanded understanding of their own discipline.

Now, Mary Alexander has produced a newly revised edition of the classic text, bringing it the twenty-first century with coverage of emerging trends, resources, and challenges. New material also includes a discussion of the children's museum as a distinct type of institution and an exploration of the role computers play in both outreach and traditional in-person visits.

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About the Author:

Edward Alexander seems to have done it all in terms of history museums. In the 1930s and 40s he led the New York and Wisconsin state historical societies. He brought to Colonial Williamsburg a commitment to intellectual rigor in public interpretation relying on his academic background in U.S. history. He served as president of both AASLH and AAM. After departing Colonial Williamsburg, he established a new museum studies program at the University of Delaware, where he taught until his retirement.

Mary Alexander has been an active museum educator in Washington, DC since 1970. She has worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Museum Education Roundtable, George Washington Bicentennial Center (Alexandria, VA), National Archives, Mount Vernon, AASLH's Common Agenda for History Museums, Hillwood Museum and Montgomery County Historical Society. Today, she administers grants for the Maryland Historical Trust, helping historical and cultural museums across Maryland address their professional needs.

Review:

What a joy it is to have a new edition of Museums in Motion. Mary Alexander has done her father, Edward Alexander, and the museum profession proud with her skillful reworking and polishing of one of the central texts in American museology. This work is ripe with insight that will educate the novice and challenge and inspire the most seasoned cultural worker. Ultimately Museums in Motion is both a wonderfully written history of museum practices and a clarion call that reminds us of the changing environment that museums face today. (Bunch, Lonnie)

Mary Alexander's updated version of her father's 1979 text is a long-awaited and much-welcome addition to the literature of museum mtudies. (Aldona Sendzikas)

Mary Alexander has done an excellent job of updating her father's work while keeping the flavor of having a conversation with him....Museums in Motion will continue to be one of the few books that should be on every museum professional's bookshelf regardless of the museum's discipline or the staff member's job description. (History News)

The revised edition of Museums in Motion will extend the useful life of an invaluable text for decades. Shining through the original text was respect for museums of the past, as well as insights about how they have shaped us, as museum workers, and our institutions. This quality continues in the new edition, with important updates, especially about the public dimension of museums and the impact of electronic tools on museums' missions, operations, and interpretation. (Rosemary T. Krill)

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