The Status of Museums: Authority, Identity, and Material Culture

Edited by Samuel J. M. M. Alberti

in Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780226487267
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226487298 | DOI:
The Status of Museums: Authority, Identity, and Material Culture

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This chapter examines the status of museums as scientific sites. It argues that museums achieved their privileged status as places and sites of knowledge from a combination of practitioners' curatorial credibility, authority and expertise. This chapter also shows how museum space was routinely implicated in questions rotating around identity, authority, and what is sometimes called object epistemology and explains the role of physical objects and their location within museum space in the negotiation of cognitive authority.

Keywords: museums; scientific sites; knowledge; curatorial credibility; identity; object epistemology; cognitive authority; museum space

Chapter.  9576 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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