This course considers museums not as stand-alone organizations but as dynamic institutions that interact with their communities and their surroundings. Consequently, this course is divided into two areas: museum theory and museum practice. In museum theory, students become acquainted with the latest literature about museums and their roles in society. The museum practice section of the course consists of meetings with professionals in the field. Emphasis is placed on the variety and diversity of job opportunities. Short field trips supplement the course content.
Collections Management involves both information management and care of objects under the museum's purview. This course provides an introduction to object handling, loan contracts and acquisition documentation, traveling arrangements including packing and shipping, facilities care, security, storage, exhibition planning and installation methods, collections photography, and legal and ethical issues surrounding museum collections. Study of these topics includes field trips and discussions with guest speakers from the field.
Exhibitions are the ways in which museums share their collections with the public in specific settings and for particular reasons. This seminar examines both the practice and the theory of museum exhibitions through readings, classroom discussions, and on-site visits. In this class, students work in small groups to produce an exhibition for one of the many local museums or galleries in the Gainesville area.
Museums offer a unique encounter with objects and ideas for people of many ages, interests, and backgrounds. Museum education strengthens that encounter by building bridges between visitors' experiences and expectations, and the experiences and ideas that emanate from a museum's collection. It involves knowledge (of audience, resources, and techniques) communication, collaboration, advocacy, and evaluation. This course provides an introduction to museum education and critical issues facing the field and an opportunity for discussions with museum education professionals.
This class will examine the museum's role in society, and the ethical issues that result from a museum's core activities and the profession's response to these issues. Readings will come from textbooks, as well as case studies and current events. Although related, ethics and law are not the same. The class will discuss applicable laws in certain sections of the course, but this class is not intended to be a course in museum law. Rather, it is intended to give you an understanding of the background and current best practices of museum ethics through which to form your own opinions.
In this class, students will prepare a strategic/business plan for Government House in historic St. Augustine to insure the successful operation of this State of Florida owned and operated property. The Government House has a private 501(c)3 foundation (UF Historic St. Augustine, Inc.) charged with "long-term preservation and interpretation of state-owned historic properties in St. Augustine" as well as responsibility for "historic preservation,archaeology, cultural resources management, cultural tourism, and museum administration" to help meet the needs of St. Augustine and the state through "educational internships and practicums." Working within a team structure, students will utilize budgeting, oersibbek administration, contract negotiations, exhibition strategies, facility rental options, fund-raising strategies involving a Board of Directors and marketing/public relations efforts to fully develop and execute the aforementioned plan. The plan will be submitted to the Board of Directors for review and possible implementation.
This seminar examines the creation, dissemination, and proliferation of digital surrogates in the GLAM community, from digital collections and online exhibitions to social media. Students will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of technology to expand audiences while gaining a broad understanding of current practices. Guest speakers, site visits, and readings will be included.
Students are required to complete a full-time, 380-hour internship during one of their two summers at UF. The internship is for 6 course credits and must be outside of the student's home state. Students are encouraged to find internships most appropriate to their skills and interests, and museum studies faculty will assist when needed. Students have interned at The National Gallery of Art, Yellowstone National Park, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Churches Conservations Trust in England, and many other museums and cultural institutions around the country and the world.