Museological Research

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Museological Research


Dr. AbduraheemK .






Need and Purpose of the Research

Museum Research

What is the Museum Research

Need of the Museum Research

The concept of Museological Research

Museological Research and its scope

Nature of Museum Research

Research and academic Relation

Museum Research and Modernization

General Characteristics of Modern Research

The Importance of Museum Research

Thrust Area of Research on Museum




The word research is derived from two Latin words-


means to search more and more. Research aimed to investigate or experimentation to

discover or interpretation of facts and practical

application of such theories. It also means for

the study of material and courses in order to

establish facts and reach new conclusion



Research :-

Oxford dictionary describes it as:

“study of material and sources in order to

establish facts and to reach new conclusions .”

• The aim of research is to explore the things which have not hitherto been recorded .

• Particularly this word is used for material objects which are evidence of human



Research (contd…)

• The nature of research may be inter disciplinary or multi disciplinary.

• It is duty of museum curator to bring the noteworthy objects and their associated information to lime light through research.

• Museum should encourage the research by

providing facilities to scholars, students and




According to Webster dictionary:

Studios inquiry or examination, especially critical &

exhaustive investigation or experimentation ,having for its aim the discovery of new facts and their correct interpretation, the revisions of accepted conclusions, theories or laws in the light of newly discover facts or practical application of new or revised conclusions

theories or laws.

According to Random w. Dictionary:

“Research is a systematic enquiry into a subject in order to discover the facts and theories”.


Definition continue……….

It is a careful systematic process of

collecting ,analyzing and interpreting the information in order to increase our

understanding the phenomena about the problem which we are interested and

concern. The research process is the

turning point of the Scientific method.


Points come under the Research:-

• To identify the problem.

• Through study of hypothesis to resolve research questions.

• Gathering data relevant to the problem.

• Analyzing and interpreting the data to support

the Hypothesis to resolve the Questions.


Research is an acronym, each letter of the word, standing for a particular aspect as given below- R-Rational way of thinking.

E-Expert & exhausted treatment.

S-Search and solution.



R-Relationship of facts

C-Critical observation, careful planning.

H-Honesty and hard working.


Need and Purpose of the research

Research is a systematic process of collecting and analyzing the information to increase our understanding of the

phenomenon under study. It is the function of the researchers to contribute to understanding of the

phenomenon and to communicate that understanding the others.

Accessibility and availability of information through internet is another very important development ,supporting research activities. Thus the need of research is to build up an

infrastructure for creating new knowledge reservoir. The application of knowledge for socioeconomic and cultural development of a country to provide material well being of societies is the purpose.


Museum Research:-

“Research about museums” and answers the following:

What are museums ?

How do they operate?

What is their collection?

Accordingly it can be categorized as:

Research about museums.

Research about various areas of museum practice or

techniques (like conservation, preservation, documentation etc.)

Research about areas of human interaction with intangible and tangible heritage i.e. about their collection.


What is the Museum Research

Museum as an institution since 16th centaury have established them selves as center of collection base research but in the last few decades the focus of research has been broadened and new areas of investigation have emerged about museum theory and practice. This can be termed as museological

research or museum studies research.

Museum studies research according to Suzanne Macleod

“must be understood as a community of interrelated or interdependent researchers from those with a purely

‘academic’ interest in museums (we might include here the wok of some sociologists who are interested in the museum as a social phenomenon), to those who might be considered core museum studies researchers (those who draw on and feed into museum practice with the aim of improving what museum can do)”.


Museum Research (contd…)

Broad classification:

Internal Research.

External Research.

Collaborative Research.


Museum Research (contd…)

Internal Research: The research is done by curatorial staff only and may be single or multidisciplinary.

External Research: Only external researchers are involved in it.

Collaborative Research: All museums do not have the expertise to conduct multidisciplinary research. Thus they make collaboration with the institutions which have facilities and expertise to conduct the research.


Need of the Museum research

Every single specimen needs a thorough enquiry and research to communicate its meaning to scholars, students and ordinary visitors according to their ability to

understand and enjoy.


The concept of Museological Research

The concept of museum research today has

greatly changed. It applies all possible methods and techniques to reveal every truth related with the object in a museum collection, display, storage etc. the nature of the museum research will vary according to the kind of collections .The research may be interdisciplinary or multi disciplinary in nature in a multi disciplinary museum .Museum research is essential from the materials to be used in display such as raw display materials, paints, light etc. If proper research is not done ,then the museum objects are affected.


Museological Research & its Scope

• Since 16th centaury the areas of museum research was only collection based.

• Since last few decades the area of research has been widened and given the name “Museological Research”.

• The scope of museology has also been widened .

• New-museology or Eco-museology is also concerned about development of community rather than conserving the past heritage only.



• The concept of artifacts(meuseum objects) has also been widened. They now include cuts of meat, lily ponds, language etc.

• Intangible expressions (dance, music), crafts and oral traditions are also included.

• Natural heritage with advances in

environmental sciences, ecology, genetics like

DNA map pollution affected sample of flora

and fauna are also included in this gamut.


Nature of Museum Research

Museum research is the earlier days was on the exhibits . the scholars paid much importance to the period ,provenance , material, manufacturing techniques, characteristic behavour etc. of the

object along with the historical, archeological,

cultural significance in the past .The research was to know about our past , our cultural heritage and achievement of our people in the past along with the study if the object and its environment.





Occupying a special place in the promotion of

academic collaboration are the university museums.

They may appear to some extent protected from the pressure to display to a large public, but they are still subject to the economic pressures which govern

university activities. However the curator who can create good relations with a curator of a university collection is likely to find the enquiring side of his mind constantly stimulated. He is likely also to find

these university curators acting as links with academics in his own field who base their work on library or

documentary evidence.



The modernization wants quick results better visitor facilities better communication skills, better interactive programs and above all a global approach in their concept and programs.

There is the sample scope for the process of modernization in the museum it shall include-

Modernization of the process of documentation for easy accessibility to the visitors.

Modernization of care upkeep and conservation methods of artifacts .

Modernization of the techniques of presentation, storage and transportation of artifacts and so on.



Research is an intellectual activities.

Knowledge growth and development

Modern research & development is multidisciplinary.

Modern research is therefore ,increasingly a corporate activities.

Highly professionals.

University research.

Dissemination and publication activities Critical analysis


Research facilities.


The importance of the Museum Research

The importance of the Museum research may vary according kind, especially whether basic or applied-

The basic research aim to study an advance knowledge with no application to existing problem in view. The visitor for basic

research consist almost exclusively of other scholars or researchers interested in learning more about a phenomena.

Applied research is designed to help solve particular, existing problem so there is a much larger visitors eager to support research that is likely to be profitable or solve problem immediate concern.


Thrust areas of research in museums:

It may include :

Research pertaining to periods , history , styles,

motives, forms etc. of artifacts and eco-facts of the collection.

Research pertaining to the technological advancement , the study of techniques etc.

research pertaining to conservation techniques for different types of artifacts and eco-facts .

Research pertaining to different techniques of display .

Research pertaining to management inputs of various levels of museum management.



• Research is one of the essential functions of a

museum. it is the duty of museum curator to bring the noteworthy objects and their associated

information to lime-light through their research. It is equally significant that a museum should

encourage research by providing all sorts of facilities to the scholars and students who are

interested in its collection. Every single specimen needs a thorough enquiry and research to

communicate its meaning to scholars, students and ordinary visitors according to their ability to understand and enjoy.



Ambrose T. C. Paine “Museum Basics” Routledge, London.

Bracegirdle R. “Research , Technological Collection”,Manual of Curator ship, A Guide to Museum Practice pp.147-150,1986

Venketataram P. “An Article to clear up Some Misconception about the nature of Research” Center for Continuing Education(CCE), IISc Bangalore

Best, John w.and Kahn James,V.(1999) Reseach in education 2nd edition new Delhi,Prentice hall of india.

Hopkins WG (2002). Dimensions of research. Sportscience 6,

2002 /what is research






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