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Celebrating International Museum Day


The worldwide community of museums celebrates International Museum Day on and around 18 May each year. This day is an occasion to raise awareness on how important museums are in the enrichment of cultures, development of society, and cooperation and peace among people. For more information on the theme and calendar of events for this year’s observance, visit the International Council of Museums webpage.
To join the celebration, we’re offering a 25% discount on all Museum Studies titles for a limited time. Just visit our webpage and enter code IMD18 at checkout.



Visit the Museum Worlds Companion Site


Museum Worlds
Advances in Research


Museum Worlds: Advances in Research is a multidisciplinary, refereed, annual journal that publishes work that significantly advances knowledge of global trends, case studies, and theory relevant to museum practice and scholarship around the world. Recommend to your Library

Available soon, the forthcoming table of contents features an introductory chapter by Museum and Heritage Studies expert and sociologist Tony Bennett.

Berghahn Journals is offering free access to a selection of articles until May 25 as part of the International Museum Day Virtual Issue!


Please see a range of our latest titles and a key series on our Museum Studies list:


Available in Paperback


Making and Unmaking Heritage in Cyprus
Gisela Welz


“Despite modernization and growing tourism, regardless of class, [Cypriot society has retained social practices]; people are helpful and inviting. Visitors can enjoy much in this very good, well-written book, not the least being a very impressive culinary selection. For readers at all levels, and probably a number of individuals who are not academics or social scientists. Highly recommended.” · Choice

Read Introduction


Homes and Museums in Israel
Judy Jaffe-Schagen

Volume 5, Material Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement


This meticulous, insightful book draws striking connections between both spheres, which play similar roles by housing objects and generating social narratives. Through fascinating explorations of the museums and domestic spaces of eight representative Israeli communities—Chabad, Moroccan, Iraqi, Ethiopian, Russian, Religious-Zionist, Christian Arab, and Muslim Arab—it gives a powerful account of museums’ role in state formation, proposing a new approach to collecting and categorizing particularly well-suited to societies in conflict.

Read Introduction


New in Paperback!

Meaning and Mattering after Alfred Gell
Edited by Liana Chua and Mark Elliott


“…profound scholarly reflections on the distributed effects of Alfred Gell’s endeavor to identify an anthropological theory of …a captivating pendant piece to Gell’s original publication. Itis not meant as a guidebook to understanding Gell’s work; rather it is a collection of complex studies that capture distinct engagements with Gell’s ideas around an anthropology of art.” · Material World

This volume brings together leading anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians and other scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue with Art and Agency, generating a timely re-engagement with the themes, issues and arguments at the heart of Gell’s work, which remains salient, and controversial, in the social sciences and humanities. .

Read Introduction: Adventures in the Art Nexus


New in Paperback! 

Transformations of Cultural Memory
Anne Eriksen

Volume 1, Time and the World: Interdisciplinary Studies in Cultural Transformations


“Eriksen is a lucid writer. Her case studies are highly informative and reveal a detailed knowledge of Norway’s past that few scholars could match.“ · Museum Anthropology

This book argues that the transformations concern more than words alone: They reflect fundamental changes in the way we experience the past, and the way historical objects are assigned meaning and value in the present. This book presents a series of cases from Norwegian culture to explore how historical objects and sites have changed in meaning over time. It contributes to the contemporary debates over collective memory and cultural heritage as well to our knowledge about early modern antiquarianism.

Read Introduction


In Paperback


Challenging Practices for 21st Century Museums
Edited by Graeme Were and J. C. H. King


“We learn a lot [in this volume] about how museums think and work and by implication the self-representation of societies.” · Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale

By exploring the processes of collecting, which challenge the bounds of normally acceptable practice, this book debates the practice of collecting ‘difficult’ objects, from a historical and contemporary perspective; and discusses the acquisition of objects related to war and genocide, and those purchased from the internet, as well as considering human remains, mass produced objects and illicitly traded antiquities.

Read Extreme Collecting: Dealing with Difficult Objects


Ethnographic Perspectives
Edited by Christoph Brumann and David Berliner

Volume 28, EASA Series


Presenting case studies from across the globe, particularly from Africa and Asia, anthropologists with situated expertise in specific World Heritage sites explore the consequences of the World Heritage framework and the global spread of the UNESCO heritage regime. This book shows how local and national circumstances interact with the global institutional framework in complex and unexpected ways. Often, the communities around World Heritage sites are constrained by these heritage regimes rather than empowered by them.

Read Introduction: UNESCO World Heritage – Grounded?

Museums and Collections Series 

Museum collections are increasingly being recognized as material archives of human creativity and as invaluable resources for interdisciplinary research. Museums provide powerful forums for the expression of ideas and are central to the production of public culture: they may inspire the imagination, generate heated emotions and express conflicting values in their material form and histories. This series explores the potential of museum collections to transform our knowledge of the world, and for exhibitions to influence the way in which we view and inhabit that world. It offers essential reading for those involved in all aspects of the museum sphere: curators, researchers, collectors, students and the visiting public.








Volume 10

Video Testimony in Memorial Museums
Steffi de Jong

With a focus on Holocaust museums, this study scrutinizes for the first time the new global phenomenon of the “musealization” of the witness to history, exploring the processes, prerequisites, and consequences of the transformation of video testimonies into exhibits.

Read Introduction

Volume 9

Identity and Political Education at the Jewish Museum Berlin
Victoria Bishop Kendzia

Visitors to the House of Memory is an intimate exploration of how young Berliners experience the Museum.

Read Introduction

Volume 8

Issues of Participation, Sustainability, Trust and Diversity
Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws

This volume offers a holistic picture of museum online activities that can serve as a starting point for cross-disciplinary discussion. It is a resource for museum staff, students, designers, and researchers working at the intersection of cultural institutions and digital technologies.

Read Introduction

Volume 7 Available in Paperback

The Second World War in Eastern European Museums
Zuzanna Bogumił, Joanna Wawrzyniak, Tim Buchen, Christian Ganzer and Maria Senina

This book presents a useful methodology for examining museum images and provides a critical analysis of the role historical museums play in the contemporary world.

Read Introduction: The Enemy on Display

Volume 6 Available in Paperback

Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives, and Representations
Wolfram Kaiser, Stefan Krankenhagen and Kerstin Poehls
Translated from the German

This book investigates how museums exhibit Europe.

Read Introduction: Exhibiting Europe? Europeanisation as Cultural Practice

Volume 5

Experiencing History, War and Nation at a Danish Heritage Site
Mads Daugbjerg

This book explores how such struggles unfold in practice at a highly symbolic battlefield site in the Danish/German borderland.

For a full list of titles in the series please visit the webpage.