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Project overview

In 2012, Dr Fiona Candlin was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for a project entitled 'Micromuseology'. Her research asked how ideas about museums might change if academics focused on small independent single-subject museums - micromuseums - instead of major institutions.

The Leverhulme Fellowship funded Fiona to extend her existing fieldwork by visiting multiple micromuseums across the British Isles. She hired a camper van and drove from London, up the east coast of England to Scotland, from the Orkneys to Skye, took the ferry to Belfast, travelled through Ireland and returned home via Wales. During the tour she visited venues as diverse as the Victorian Science Museum in Glaisdale, the Giant Angus McAskill Museum in Dunvegan, and the Irish Republican History Museum on the Falls Road. Fiona then focused on selected micromuseums to reappraise dominant debates within museum studies.

Outputs and outcomes

The resultant book: Micromuseology: an analysis of small independent museums (Bloomsbury 2016) is based on the fieldwork she conducted at over 60 micromuseums. Fiona shows how these venues offer dramatically different models of curation, interpretation, and visitor experience to those commonly found in major institutions, and how their analysis can generate new perspectives on subjects such as display, collections, architecture, and the public sphere.

You can read sections of Micromuseology on Google Books.