Longair, Sarah and McAleer, John (eds.)
Curating empire: museums and the British imperial experience,
Manchester, GB, Manchester University Press, 256pp.
(Studies in Imperialism).
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Curating empire explores the diverse roles played by museums and their curators in moulding and representing the British imperial experience. This collection demonstrates how individuals, their curatorial practices, and intellectual and political agendas influenced the development of a variety of museums across the globe. Taken together, these contributions suggest that museums are not just sites for accessing history but need to be considered as historical sites of significance in themselves. Individual essays examine the work of curators in museums in Britain and the colonies, the historical display and interpretation of empire in Britain, and the establishment of ‘museum networks’ in the British imperial context. Curating Empire sheds new light on the relationship between museums, as repositories for objects and cultural institutions for conveying knowledge, and the politics of culture and the formation of identities throughout the British Empire.
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