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Celebrating International Museum Day

On May 18th the worldwide museum community celebrates International Museum Day. This day is an occasion to raise public awareness on how important museums are in the enrichment of cultural exchange, development of society, and cooperation among people. For more information on the theme and calendar of events, visit the International Council of Museums webpage.
Joining the celebration, Berghahn is pleased to highlight our Museums and Collections series, the two Open Access volumes of Museum Worlds, and a selection of relevant Museum studies titles. See below for details.

Emerging Technologies and Museums: Mediating Difficult Heritage

Mediating Difficult Heritage

Edited by Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert, Alexandra Bounia, and Antigone Heraclidou

How can emerging technologies display, reveal and negotiate difficult, dissonant, negative or undesirable heritage? Emerging technologies in museums have the potential to reveal unheard or silenced stories, challenge preconceptions, encourage emotional responses, introduce the unexpected, and overall provide alternative experiences.

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Experiencing Materiality: Museum Perspectives

Museum Perspectives

Valentina Gamberi

Representing a cutting-edge study of the junction between theoretical anthropology, material culture studies, religious studies and museum anthropology, this study examines the interaction between the human and the nonhuman in a museum setting usually defined as ‘non-Western’, ‘non-scientific’ and ‘religious.’

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Forthcoming July 2023
Modernity, Religion, and the Power of Objects

Peter Pels

A range of meaningful objects—exhibits of human remains or live people, fetishes, objects in a Catholic Museum, exotic photographs, commodities, and computers—demonstrate a subordinate modern consciousness about powerful objects and their ‘life’. The Spirit of Matter discusses these objects that move people emotionally but whose existence is often denied by modern wishful thinking of ‘mind over matter’. It traces this mindset back to Protestant Christian influences that were secularized in the course of modern and colonial history.

Now in Paperback!

Consider our titles for your courses by requesting FREE e-inspection copies! Simply follow this link and search by Title, Author orKeyword. And don’t forget to visit the individual title pages for freely available introductions. 

Digital Archives and Collections: Creating Online Access to Cultural Heritage

Open Access! Now also forthcoming as paperback!
Creating Online Access to Cultural Heritage

Katja Müller

Museums and archives all over the world digitize their collections and provide online access to heritage material. But what factors determine the content, structure and use of these online inventories? This book turns to India and Europe to answer this question. It explains how museums and archives envision, decide and conduct digitization and online dissemination.


The Best We Share: Nation, Culture and World-Making in the UNESCO World Heritage Arena

Nation, Culture and World-Making in the UNESCO World Heritage Arena

Christoph Brumann

“Brumann’s richly textured monograph makes one feel the privileged observer of an international organisation’s inner workings, of what lies behind UNESCO’s powerful symbolic cachet. Taking the World Heritage Committee as a contested field site, he brings to light the very concreteness of heritage policies whilst, at the same time, identifying their globalising ambitions and globalised connections. A must read!” • David Berliner, Université Libre de Bruxelles

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The Adventures of Eugène Boban

Jane MacLaren Walsh and Brett Topping

“This is a most satisfying biography/social history; it is scholarship at its most entrancing and enlightening. It should be read and reread.” • Fortean Times

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Challenging Practices for 21st Century Museums

Edited by Graeme Were and J. C. H. King

“The book takes the study of materials innovation and design outside the prevalent focus on Western technoscience. Its focus on Pacific societies also raises the issue of digital return and, furthermore, digital technologies in the museum and heritage sector more broadly. In this connection, Were pushes beyond debates on authenticity and instead highlights digital technology’s productive potentials.” • Social Anthropology

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Series Highlight: Museums and Collections

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.

Museum Times: Changing Histories in South Africa

Changing Histories in South Africa

Leslie Witz

From the renowned Robben Island Museum to the almost unknown Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum, the author demonstrates how an institution concerned with the conservation of the past is simultaneously a site for changing history.

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Museum, Place, Architecture and Narrative: Nordic Maritime Museums’ Portrayals of Shipping, Seafarers and Maritime Communities

Nordic Maritime Museums’ Portrayals of Shipping, Seafarers and Maritime Communities

Annika Bünz

This volume unravels the kinds of worlds and realities the Nordic maritime museums stage, which identities and national myths they depict, and how they make use of both the surrounding maritime environments and the architectural properties of the museum buildings.

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Contested Holdings: Museum Collections in Political, Epistemic and Artistic Processes of Return

Museum Collections in Political, Epistemic and Artistic Processes of Return

Edited by Felicity Bodenstein, Damiana Oţoiu, and Eva-Maria Troelenberg

Going beyond strictly legal and property-oriented aspects of the restitution debate, restitution is considered as part of a larger set of processes of return that affect museums and collections, as well as notions of heritage and object status. Covering a range of case studies and a global geography, the authors aim to historicize and bring depth to contemporary debates in relation to both the return of material culture and human remains.

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Transforming Author Museums: From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs

From Sites of Pilgrimage to Cultural Hubs

Edited by Ulrike Spring, Johan Schimanski and Thea Aarbakke

“This is a fine and rich collection of essays on the topic of the literary museum, notably on the writer’s house museum. It offers engaging perspectives and new horizons that in the international scholarship on this topic will be highly appreciated.” • Harald Hendrix, University of Utrecht

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Exchanging Objects: Nineteenth-Century Museum Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution

Nineteenth-Century Museum Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution

Catherine A. Nichols

As an historical account of the exchange of “duplicate specimens” between anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution and museums, collectors, and schools around the world in the late nineteenth century, this book reveals connections between both well-known museums and little-known local institutions, created through the exchange of museum objects.

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Extinct Monsters to Deep Time: Conflict, Compromise, and the Making of Smithsonian's Fossil Halls

In Paperback!
Conflict, Compromise, and the Making of Smithsonian’s Fossil Halls

Diana E. Marsh


“Marsh’s work makes a significant contribution to museum ethnography; it provides and invites detailed inquiry into the ways in which museums work to develop public displays within their own changing histories, values and processes. Relevant to anyone engaged in museum anthropology and institutional ethnography…” • Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale

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The Witness as Object: Video Testimony in Memorial Museums

Open Access!
Video Testimony in Memorial Museums

Steffi de Jong

“De Jong’s study is enriching and stimulating. Her strength lies in categorizing, in reflection, and taking the debate about contemporary witnesses to a new level. Whoever wants to learn about the role of eye witnesses in the Memorial Museum will not be able to ignore this study.” • H-Soz-Kult


For a full selection of volumes in the series please visit series webpage

Berghahn Journals

A Part of the Berghahn Open Anthro Collection!
Advances in Research

Alison K. Brown, University of Aberdeen
Conal McCarthy, Victoria University of Wellington

Museum Worlds aims to trace and comment on major regional, theoretical, methodological, and topical themes and debates, and to encourage comparison of museum theories, practices, and developments in different global settings. Each issue includes a conversation piece on a current topic, as well as peer-reviewed scholarly articles and review articles, book and exhibition reviews, and news on developments in museum studies and related curricula in different parts of the world.

Open Access Volumes
Volume 10
Volume 9
Voices out of the Dark? Contemporary Museum-Like Practices and Culturalized Politics (Vol. 8)

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