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Museum Studies terms

Words and phrases used in Museum Studies.


DCH stands for: Digital Cultural Heritage.

For more info, resources, and EU funding for DCH projects, see: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/digital-cultural-heritage.

Deaf Museum? (N)

"Deaf Museum" probably is an old-fashioned name, but I think most people will understand what it means:

a museum about things to do with deaf history, deaf people, deaf education, deaf politics, deaf art, deaf sports, sign language, etc.. So we named our project "Deaf Museums".

A more correct and up-to-date name for a Deaf Museum is what the Museum in Trondheim (NO) now calls itself: Norwegian Museum of Deaf History and Culture

Deaf Resilience (N)

Resilience in deaf individuals is not only the capability to withstand adversity but the capability is grounded on the deaf community cultural wealth: deaf-centric aspirational, social, linguistic, resistant and navigational capitals are learned from the deaf community.

The availability of the abovementioned resources promote resilience and foster later success both in the academic and work life. (Yosso; 2005; Hauser, 2014)

Development Phase (N)

A development phase follows the Conceptual Phase. Funding is acquired and the physical and educational design of the exhibition is completed.

After a project budget and an exhibition plan have been completed, production can commence. Activities include building, preparing, mounting and installing the exhibits, and also involve training of the educational staff and marketing.

Source: http://cid.nada.kth.se/pdf/258.pdf

Donation (N)

The legal owner signs something over to the museum. It is a gift, preferably without any strings attached. 

Donor (N)

A person who gives or contributes.

Dublin Core

The Dublin Core, also known as the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, is a set of fifteen "core" elements (properties) that can be used to describ resources in a standardized way.

The resources described using the Dublin Core may be digital resources (video, images, web pages, etc.) as well as physical resources such as books or works of art. 

Also see: https://www.dublincore.org/resources/userguide/

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dublin_Core

Endowment (N)

An endowment is a gift of money that is made to an institution or community, in order to provide it with an annual income.

Exhibit (N)

An object that is shown to the public in a museum or exhibition. 

In American English, 'exhibit' is also used for a collection of objects that is shown to the public in a museum,  similar to 'exhibition'. 


Exhibition (N)

A public display of works of art or items of interest, held in a museum or gallery for people to see.

 An exhibition can be part of a museum, or it can be a stand alone exhibition. Exhibitions can be temporary or permanent. A museum usually shows a large collection of various objects and artifacts, covering many different topics or themes. An exhibition is smaller and focused on a single topic or theme: a specific artist, a specific period in time,  a single object or event, etc. 

Functional Phase (N)

The time period when the exhibition is on display is often referred to as the functional phase. In this phase, educational programmes are implemented and the exhibition is typically also presented to the public through pre-scheduled guided tours.

It also includes personnel administration and maintenance work, and ends with the dismantling of the exhibition and the balancing of accounts.

In this phase, summative evaluation is used to determine if the exhibition met its goals. Such evaluation is often relatively easy to conduct, but may lead to expensive re-design of entire exhibits.

Source: http://cid.nada.kth.se/pdf/258.pdf


GLAMs: Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums.

Grant (N)

A gift of money given for a specific purpose.

Heritage (N)

 Valued objects and qualities such as historic buildings and cultural traditions that have been passed down from previous generations.

Cultural Heritage: historic buildings, monuments and collections of information on how people lived such as photos, paintings, stories, newspapers and books.

Natural Heritage: mountains, rivers, and any landscape.


Intangible (Adj, N)

Something that you cannot touch. 

Intangible Cultural Heritage: the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their Cultural Heritage’ (UNESCO, 2003).

Examples of intangible heritage are oral traditions, performing arts, local knowledge, and traditional skills.

Also used as a noun: intangibles, artefacts and objects that you cannot touch.

Source: https://ich.unesco.org