Explore "Museum Origins" in the UK | School of Information | Kent State University

Explore "Museum Origins" in the UK

2017 Course Includes Spring Break Museum Tours

Registration is now open for the “Museum Origins” course, offered by Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science. The 10-week, 3-credit-hour graduate course includes 10 days exploring museums in London and Oxford during Kent State's spring break (and a few days beyond).

"Museum Origins" examines the birth of the modern museum and its roots in Europe. In the context of today’s world, students will “go back in time” to explore the origins of western museums and the meaning of publicly shared collections by visiting actual sites and collections that played a role in this history. The course is designed specifically to help current and future museum professionals gain a better understanding of their own role and purpose in their community, society and nation.

Graduate and upper-division undergraduate students from any institution, any major — including art, art education, art history, architecture, fashion, history, public history, literature, anthropology, classics, and more — are encouraged to apply. Application deadline is Nov. 1, 2016.

Course Schedule

The course runs Feb. 27 to May 7, 2017:

  • Feb. 27-March 25: Online readings and discussions, plus three synchronous meetings (online or live) March 6, 13, 20
  • March 26-April 4 (10 days): On site in UK, including tours of museums, sites and private collections, plus face-to-face discussions and student-instructor meetings. (These dates cover a little more than Kent State’s spring break.)
    • London highlights: Kew Gardens, British Museum, Hunterian Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Darwin Centre, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Gallery, Royal Armories/Tower of London (pending confirmation of sites)
    • ​Oxford highlights: Ashmolean Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum, Museum of Natural History, Bodleian Libraries (pending confirmation of sites)​
  • April 5-May 7: Completion of research paper and peer review

Course Instructor

Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D., associate professor in Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science, teaches the class. She created the School’s museum studies specialization and is the co-author of Foundations of Museum Studies: Evolving Systems of Knowledge (2014) and Objects of Experience: Transforming Visitor-Object Encounters in Museums (2013), which was named the Best Museum Education Book of 2014 by the Museum Education Monitor (MEM).