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2. High Style: Masterworks from the
3. Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret
4. Museum Origins: Readings in Early
5. Living History Museums: Undoing
6. Birds of North America (American
7. Exploring the American Museum
8. Ocean (American Museum of Natural
9. The New History in an Old Museum:
10. Defining Memory: Local Museums
11. Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses,
12. Making Histories in Museums
13. The Natural History Museum Book
14. Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion
15. Craft in the Machine Age 1920-1945:
16. The Management of Small History
17. Art of the Classical World in
18. The Great Museum: The Re-Presentation
19. Museums in Motion: An Introduction
20. Museums in Motion: An Introduction

Paperback: 328 Pages (2010-02-10)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$34.95
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Asin: 159874383X
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Kids have profound and important relationships to the past, but they don't experience history in the same way as adults. For museum professionals and everyone involved in informal history education and exhibition design, this book is the essential new guide to creating meaningful and memorable connections to the past for children. This vital museum audience possesses many of the same dynamic qualities as trained historian—curiosity, inquiry, empathy for the human <br>experience—yet traditional history exhibitions tend to focus on passive looking in the galleries, giving priority to relaying information through words. D. Lynn McRainey and John Russick bring together top museum professionals to present state-of-the-art research and practice that respects and incorporates kids' developmental stages and learning preferences and the specific ways in which kids connect to history. They provide concrete tools for audience research and evaluation; exhibition development and design; and working with kids as "creative consultants." The only book to focus comprehensively on history exhibits for kids, Connecting Kids to History With Museum Exhibitions shows how to enhance the experiences of a vitally important but frequently the least understood museum audience.
... Read more

2. High Style: Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
by Jan Reeder
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-06-15)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$30.50
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Asin: 0300155220
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This lavishly illustrated volume is the first comprehensive publication on the Brooklyn Museum’s internationally renowned historic costume collection. The nearly 25,000-object collection comprises fashionable women’s and men’s garments and accessories from the 18th through the 20th century. It features sumptuous 19th-century gowns from the House of Worth, exquisite works by the great 20th-century French couturiers, iconic Surrealist-based designs of Elsa Schiaparelli, sportswear classics from pioneer American women designers, and the incomparable draped and tailored creations of Charles James.

In 2009, the Brooklyn Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art entered into a groundbreaking long-term partnership to steward Brooklyn’s collection. The objects were transferred to The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan, with Brooklyn maintaining curatorial access. Exhibitions of costumes from the collection will be held at both institutions in early May 2010.
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Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
Just a great book for anyone who likes and admires the art of fashion and the construction even.

5-0 out of 5 stars High Style: Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Met. Museum of Art
Can't stop drooling over this book. It has sparked some creativity! I just would of liked to have seen more views of some of the dresses.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunningly beautiful book!
It is a real joy to be able to see such amazing examples of preserved fashion history!As a costume designer it is inspiring as well as enjoyable reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage couture at it's very best
If you are seeking a vintage couture resource that is complete, informative, with great photos, this would be the one for you.It is similar in feeling to the Kyoto Costume Institute book with fantastic photos and descriptions of the best of the best.I managed to see both the Brooklyn Musuem Exhibit AND the Metropolitan Museum exhibit in one weekend.These were some of the most amazing garments that one will be able to see.Most will agree that the Brooklyn Museum exhibit was laid out better and easier to see than the Met's, but they did make a nice sister exhibit.Most of the garments here are from the Brooklyn Museum with a few add ins from the collection and a few deletions from the original exhibit.But for the most part, it is pretty complete.This is a great tool for the vintage couture collector and quite an education on most of the leading designers and a few that have long become forgotten, especially the American Designers.That is the most interesting part.The Women American designers were quite informative including Eta Hentz, Bonnie Cashin, and of course, Clare McCardell.The Worth and the Charles James collections are some of the finest and perfect examples of their couture that is in existence today.That alone makes it worth purchasing this resource.
The Book is not too big and not too small.The price is right and the glossy photos and finish of the book is amazing.I recommend this book highly!

5-0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous
A fabulously presented book with beautiful photos and informative text. Worth the price for just the Charles James section alone! A feast for the eyes and soul.
I couldn't be happier with this book. ... Read more

3. Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum (Vintage)
by Richard Fortey
Paperback: 352 Pages (2009-09-08)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$6.99
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Asin: 0307275523
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A remarkable behind-the-scenes look at the extraordinary people, meticulous research, and driving passions that make London’s Natural History Museum one of the world’s greatest institutions.

In an elegant and illuminating narrative, Richard Fortey takes his readers to a place where only a few privileged scientists, curators, and research specialists have been—the hallowed halls that hold the permanent collection of the Natural History Museum. Replete with fossils, jewels, rare plants, and exotic species, Fortey’s walk through offers an intimate view of many of the premiere scientific accomplishments of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. Like looking into the mind of mankind and all the fascinating discoveries, ideas, and accomplishments that reside there, Fortey’s tour is utterly entertaining from first to last. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Insider's View of a Great Natural History Museum
Up front I have to admit that I am a museum person.I am the curator of a small, but growing, specialized natural history museum in New Mexico, with the main theme being arthropods.I have also had some peripheral associations with larger museums (primarily the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, where I am an official associate).I thus to some extent understand the museum culture and it is a pleasant one to me, if a bit quirky at times.

One of the great natural history museums is, of course, the Natural History Museum in London. Like all major museums, there are many stories to tell about both the contents of the museum and about their curators.Richard Fortey, who specializes in trilobites and who is a very good story teller, has now captured the museum culture at the institution where he works in a delightful expose titled "Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum." Indeed, Fortey has given the reader a great present in explaining both the foibles of curators and the need for such huge assemblages of stuffed, pickled, pinned, pressed, and boxed objects of natural origin. The people attracted to museum work are often quite interesting (I have found this to be one of the major perks of museum work!) and there are many stories to tell. I think that understanding the very human people engaged in what the average citizen might view as a totally esoteric activity can help to dispel the myths about such scientists.Some of course fit the stereotype (all stereotypes have a kernel of truth, even if tiny), but most modern systematic biologists and geologists are fairly normal as people go. They just are interested in beetles, fossils or ferns as opposed to stamps, sports, history, or novels. Fortey spices his narrative with some real oddballs - Robert Ross, the Keeper of Botany, who was untrustworthy around women (I've known one or two of these characters in my time! They tend to be very difficult to work around), Denys Tucker, who worked with cichlid fish and who often railed against the management and seemed to hate his students, a professional diatomist who collected souvenirs of his sexual exploits, and so on.

Still the big story here is how important such museums and their staffs are in meeting human and environmental needs. Martin Hall's work on screwworm flies in Africa is just one case in point.Other researchers have helped with plant pest and disease problems, recorded biodiversity, found promising new chemicals on obscure life forms, and in general have contributed millions of pages of text on the life of this planet.Lest anyone underestimate the importance of this, keep in mind that when we don't know the true identity of a disease organism, a pest or a beneficial organism, we are not easily able to deal with it.

All in all I highly recommend this book, especially for people who are unaware of the work that goes on behind the scenes at major museums. The book is easy to read, highly entertaining, accurate, and (I think, at least) will give the reader an appreciation of what such museums do that is important not just to specialists, but to everyone.The Natural History Museum of London has taken a major step that I think will very much help this along, especially for the British public, in that they have opened their research collections for tours.What the public understands they will support, and direct contact makes the work at museums more understandable.

Museums are important to civilization and are not just expensive collections of trivia understood only by specialists.I see this daily myself in my interactions with K-12 students, university students, other researchers, and the general public, and I can thus vouch for Fortey's accounts of how collections have aided society.From my view Fortey has preformed a great service for all of us in museum work by making the back rooms, including "Dry Storeroom No. 1," accessible to the general reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining look behind the curtain
Having only been able to make one short visit to this wonderful museum I was extremely happy to get a guided tour in book form, one that takes me through both the current museum and its past as well. Fortey's text has made certain I will block out an entire day when next in London just to visit this museum.


4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I've had the pleasure of working behind the scenes in a number of natural history museums. While a grad student, I had an office in the Natural History Museum in Dublin, spent a good deal of time every year in the collections of the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and a month at the Natural History Museum in London. As anyone who has spent time behind the scenes will tell you, not only are all the really cool specimens kept away from public view, but museums are populated with some very strange people! Richard Fortey's latest book offers a wonderfully entertaining and evocative depiction of life in the London museum. He covers the the history of the museum and its collections, the people, and the political skirmishes as administrators wrestled control of the museum away from the scientists and into the hands of businessmen.

Fortey's central message is important: the sort of basic (often morphological) systematic and taxonomic work that is being done in museums is important and should not be diminished by administrators' love of "sexy" techniques or charismatic taxa. Our intellectual landscape is being shrunken by the ever-increasing trend to turn museums into sites of performance and tourism rather than of research.

Those familiar with museums will recognize many archetypal figures. Members of the public will get a wonderful insight into what goes on behind the scenes. I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Did you have a nice week with the troglodytes, dear?"
Richard Fortey is also the author of Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution. This has some bearing on this wonderful book because of passages like this:
It might seem an odd ambition to try to get everyone to pronounce a word correctly. But mine has always been to get the world to say "trilobite" without fudging, and with a certain measure of understanding. My own mother was wont to say "troglodyte," which at least has a certain prehistoric dimension, even if it refers to human cave dwellers rather than extinct arthropods several hundred million years older than humans.

"Did you have a nice week with the troglodytes, dear?" was one of her regular enquiries.
As this (hopefully) illustrates, Fortey is a capable and humorous guide, one who can impart information without the reader minding it a bit. And this book isn't just about hidden exhibits and research. Some of its most fascinating specimens are the humans who work behind the scenes.

One of Fortey's particular strengths is what I call the "Doug Henning Superpower." Older readers may remember Doug Henning as a tie-dyed magician with big hair. Although he should have been aggravating, Henning was able to look as amazed as his audiences at the wonders he wrought onstage. Fortey has this ability as well; he is a guide who takes us behind the scenes of the Natural History Museum with a convincing demeanor of excitement and wonder.

And it's contagious!

5-0 out of 5 stars Anything but dry
"Dry Storeroom No. 1" is a lively, gossipy memoir of the author's lifetime working at the British Museum.I was intrigued by the resemblance of the characters to some of those I have myself experienced in working at a very different kind of museum.The author has managed to capture the humanity of his fellow-workers while sharing also their contributions to human understanding of the earth. ... Read more

4. Museum Origins: Readings in Early Museum History and Philosophy
Paperback: 352 Pages (2008-05-31)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$34.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1598741977
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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With the development of institutions displaying natural science, history, and artin the late 19th century camethe debates over the role of these museum in society. This anthology collects 52 of the most important writings on museum philosophy dating from this formative period, written by the many of the American and European founders of the field. Genoways and Andrei contextualize these pieces with a series of introductions showing how the museum field developed within the social environment of the era. For those interested in museum history and philosophy or cultural history, this is an essential resource. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Museum Inquiries
Anybody interested in art and colllectibles, ideology and ethnocentrism must
pursue museum inquiries. This is a must-have book. ... Read more

5. Living History Museums: Undoing History through Performance
by Scott Magelssen
Paperback: 252 Pages (2007-02-01)
list price: US$54.95 -- used & new: US$113.85
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Asin: 0810858657
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Living History Museums: Undoing History Through Performance examines the performance techniques of Living History Museums, cultural institutions that merge historical exhibits with costumed live performance. Institutions such as Plimoth Plantation and Colonial Williamsburg are analyzed from a theatrical perspective, offering a new genealogy of living museum performance. ... Read more

6. Birds of North America (American Museum of Natural History)
Hardcover: 744 Pages (2009-02-16)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$49.64
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Asin: 0756642728
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This "armchair" reference to the birds of North America will bring a whole new level of expertise to the birder's library, all in one category-killing volume. Information on behavior, nesting, and habitat, omitted from many field guides, is included throughout, while books on behavior don't include the wealth of identification information, in as accessible a format, as does this book. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book!Best Bird Book Sold
I bought this book as a gift to my grandmother who travels extensively bird watching.She has raved about it every time we speak.The photos are amazing she says.She is not easy to impress but feels this book is nothing short of perfect! Must have for bird enthusiasts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Bird Resource
Excellent use of photographs and brief but meaningful summaries of unique species data.Views highlighting identifying marks in flight and distinguishing characteristics versus "frequently mistaken for" species are very useful for both novice and experienced birders.

4-0 out of 5 stars Birds of North America - American Museum of Natural History
One of the best identification books available. If you have this and The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, there is no need for additional bird books unless you want a small field guide. The Audubon Society Encyclopedia is better for the ornithology, but this book far surpasses it for identification. I highly recommend this for any serious "birder."

3-0 out of 5 stars good photos
I like this book for it contains many photo of the same bird at differents stages of developpement so it is practical when trying to identify one

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed full of information!
I've had many a bird book over the years, but this one beats them all, hands down!There are so many facts (like weight, flight pattern, song) that you don't get elsewhere.To top it all off, it has a beautiful display of bird pictures for comparison.I use it side by side with my Peterson Field Guide.The only drawback is that it is too big to take with you in t6he field.Peterson fills the gap. ... Read more

7. Exploring the American Museum of Natural History: A Children's Guide with Pictures to Color
by Patricia J. Wynne
Paperback: 32 Pages (2004-07-16)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$2.22
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Asin: 0486437140
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Thirty exciting illustrations depict highlights from the permanent collection of the world-famous museum in New York City, with amazing scenes of an elephant herd, the skeleton of a gigantic T-rex, a lifelike Komodo dragon, an Easter Island sculpted head, a Haida canoe, a hut built of mammoth bones, and more. Informative captions.
... Read more

8. Ocean (American Museum of Natural History)
by Robert Dinwiddie, Philip Eales, Sue Scott, Michael Scott, Kim Bryan, David Burnie, Frances Dipper, Richard Beatty
Paperback: 512 Pages (2008-07-21)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$14.61
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Asin: 0756636922
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Breathtaking, powerful, and all-encompassing in its sheer scope and visual impact, Ocean sweeps you away on an incredible journey into the depths of our astonishing marine world. As the site where life first formed on Earth, a key element of the climate, and a fragile resource, oceans are of vital importance to our planet. This definitive visual guide to the world's oceans - including the geological and physical processes that affect the ocean floor, the key habitat zones, the rich diversity of marine life - is now available in paperback. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedia of the Sea
Ocean, from the American Museum of Natural History.I bought this for my ten year old who is a big fan of aquariums.This is a book for adults, but the pictures and short entries, laid out in an encyclopedia format; make it a good choice for kids who are fascinated by undersea life and our oceans.

Great book. The pictures are sharp and interesting; and, there are a lot of them.The entries give good detailed information that is explanatory in every way without being too technical or, quite frankly, long.For kids, the pictures will pull them in to the topic and allow them to thumb through the pages alighting on entries that catch their fancy.A good choice if you want to learn more of our salty, wet world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Much more than a Coffee Table book.
Just a beautifully produced book. Incredible layout with many beautiful photographs and a lot of information. I got this for my son, who is a little young for it at the age of 2, but I've seen these types of books go out of print before, so I wanted to scoop one up for him now so he can enjoy it in a few years. But this one is for kids of all ages, starting with me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great coffee table book or gift idea - or both.
Bought this as a gift for the guy who I think has everything. And even if he doesn't have everything... What he would want would be so elusive to me that I couldn't possibly guess!The latest gadget at the apple store that I have no idea what it even is?No thank you, I don't want to pull my hair out trying to figure out that mess.

The solution?A large coffee table book with great photography depicting Ocean life.You cannot possibly go wrong with this. For the eclectic guy who has everything, I bet he does not have a coffee table book on Ocean life.And, it has interesting photography- so that is a plus.

I am convinced that this was the right move.Way better than a hand knitted scarf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best nonfiction book ever!
If you love the world's oceans and what lives in them, then this is a book for you! 500 pages of beautiful color photos and accurate information make this a must get for ocean lovers! I highlyrecommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Ocean
If you are at all interested in oceanography & marine biology this book is a grabber. I first came across this book in our local library. Within an hour I had ordered a copy from Amazon to have for my own.It is a most comprehensive if not exhaustive on the subjects. Non-technical and wonderfully illustrated I keep it handy for constant enjoyment. ... Read more

9. The New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg
by Richard Handler, Eric Gable
Paperback: 272 Pages (1997-01-01)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$7.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0822319748
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The New History in an Old Museum is an exploration of "historical truth" as presented at Colonial Williamsburg. More than a detailed history of a museum and tourist attraction, it examines the packaging of American history, and consumerism and the manufacturing of cultural beliefs. Through extensive fieldwork—including numerous site visits, interviews with employees and visitors, and archival research—Richard Handler and Eric Gableillustrate how corporate sensibility blends with pedagogical principle in Colonial Williamsburg to blur the lines between education and entertainment, patriotism and revisionism.
During much of its existence, the "living museum" at Williamsburg has been considered a patriotic shrine, celebrating the upscale lifestyles of Virginia’s colonial-era elite. But in recent decades a new generation of social historians has injected a more populist and critical slant to the site’s narrative of nationhood. For example, in interactions with museum visitors, employees now relate stories about the experiences of African Americans and women, stories that several years ago did not enter into descriptions of life in Colonial Williamsburg. Handler and Gable focus on the way this public history is managed, as historians and administrators define historiographical policy and middle-level managers train and direct front-line staff to deliver this "product" to the public. They explore how visitors consume or modify what they hear and see, and reveal how interpreters and craftspeople resist or acquiesce in being managed. By deploying the voices of these various actors in a richly textured narrative, The New History in an Old Museum highlights the elements of cultural consensus that emerge from this cacophony of conflict and negotiation.
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars An impressive anthropology of Colonial Williamsburg
This book provides an anthropology of a museum - -an important museum, Colonial Williamsburg (CW), which receives about a million visitors a year.The authors are interested in how CW produces its interpretive content.They studied the site at a time when the new social historians were trying to introduce a greater awareness of race and class divisions in colonial society into the CW program.These new social historians were resisted in part by traditionalists, especially the costumed hostesses, who focused on the colonial elite.More important, the pressures of business got in the way.CW needs to sell products, broaden its income base, and keep its visitors happy, and these pressures work against more critical social history.

Some of the story will be familiar political ground.CW was an elite project, funded by theRockefellers.It appeals to upper-middle-class white tourists who like to buy "authentic" reproduction furniture and other items.Other themes in Handler and Gable's story may be more surprising.For example, they show how discourses about "facts" and "documentation" are used by white interpreters to avoid talking about racially sensitive issues such as miscegenation.They also show how a focus on material objects such as restored buildings and authentic furnishings leads to a bias against stories that are less well documented - -notably the story of Williamsburg's slaves.

Though this is not Handler and Gable's main concern, I must say that some of the museum practices they discuss are appalling.White guides work inside the homes, while African-American interpreters do the "Other Half" (slave) tours from outside. Apparently the two types of guides each make derogatory comments about what the other guides will or will not tell you.Costumed characters interpreting slaves do not enter the homes during regular hours, though of course historical slaves would have.Instead, they are passive stage hands ("the furniture would have been rearranged for tea").Greater respect for the realities of 18th century Williamsburg really demands that the foundation change these practices by their own staff.

The book is not without its limitations.The authors are trained in Marxism, they believe that class conflict and racism are the key organizing principles of all social relations, and they see American culture as strongly marked by consumerism.If these are your premises, you'll see race, class, and consumerism everywhere - - and they do.An environmental historian or a conservative would see very different things.

They also enjoy pointing out that Colonial Williamsburg is a "corporation."Unfortunately, they use "corporation" less as a social scientific concept and more a (negative) value judgment. They never ask whether a non-profit corporation might behave differently in important ways than a for-profit corporation, for example.

Handler and Gable are pretty self-aware of their own Marxist leanings, less self-aware about their own views about race, consumer goods, and corporations.They are also good modern anthropologists in that they make themselves visible in the account, and they discuss when their informants disagree with their own interpretations of local culture.

I am sorry to say that Colonial Williamsburg's online bookstore does not sell this book.The organization would be a stronger one if their employees read it.It would be even better if some visitors read it before going there, to think more critically about what they are seeing and why.

3-0 out of 5 stars Muddled handling of an interesting idea
Colonial Williamsburg is an elaborate fake, run by corporate devils who mercilessly exploit their workers, while badly distorting America's colonial history. At least that is what Handler and Gable would have us believe. There is more than a grain of truth in some of their contentions, but they undermine their case by digressing into political correctness and left-wing dogma.

The authors relate how Colonial Williamsburg's political agenda has changed to suit successive generations of scholars and managers, who have massaged "facts" accordingly. Front-line interpreters (costumed characters) are trained to parry controversial questions in order to avoid open discussion of them and to maintain the "official" line. They can become impatient with visitors' ignorance of history, and may resort to insulting them. When historians convey new or corrected information to the staff, interpreters sometimes override those directions in favor of their own views.

The historical message is contaminated further by interference from corporate officials, who are more concerned with boosting attendance and competing with theme parks than with running an historically accurate museum. The authors condemn Colonial Williamsburg as a museum that has abandoned its educational mission in favor of showing tourists a good time by building more hotels and golf courses, and which has crassly expanded retail merchandising to compete for tourist dollars. Ironically, Colonial Williamsburg sold Anheuser-Busch the land on which the Busch Gardens theme park now stands, thus helping to create its stiffest competition and spurring its efforts to increase attendance.

The authors make a number of telling points against Colonial Williamsburg's version of history, but they lose credibility by suggesting that the existing presentation merely be replaced with one designed to serve their own politically correct agenda. Although Colonial Williamsburg has come a long way in portraying the role of slaves in the colony, it isn't enough for Handler and Gable, who view those efforts as half-hearted, if not hypocritical, even on the part of some African-American interpreters. While criticizing Colonial Williamsburg for speculating about unknown areas of history in order to create a seamless presentation, the authors promote use of just such hypothetical, unsubstantiated "information" as part of a more politically correct view of 18th Century Williamsburg. For example, whether or not it can be proven that Williamsburg patriot George Wythe kept a female slave as his mistress, and perhaps fathered a child by her, the authors believe that Colonial Williamsburg should tell visitors that he did, since so many white slave owners were guilty of miscegenation.

The book bogs down badly during a lengthy leftist harangue against capitalism and corporate structure, which the authors dislike and consider inappropriate for Colonial Williamsburg, but for which they offer no alternative. Although that digression is followed by a valuable discussion of the struggle between corporate and educational priorities, the authors often confuse issues of education and history with those of corporate policy and labor relations without convincingly linking them. The result is a muddled examination of Colonial Williamsburg as a place of learning.

The work suffers from a lack of systematic data collection, relying instead on anecdotal information gleaned from interviews with officials, interpreters, visitors and others, and there is no sampling or survey data to support the book's broad contentions. The final chapter provides a lucid summary of the book's major points, but the authors have rambled for too long before reaching that point, and many readers will find the preceding chapters heavy going.

Moreover, Colonial Williamsburg is not really a museum, and it is doubtful that patrons expect to see a flawlessly accurate reproduction of the late 18th Century city. Visitors know that the costumed interpreters they encounter are performers and they accept the convention. Even with its shortcomings, Colonial Williamsburg can stimulate interest in the people and ideas that dominated political discourse on the eve of revolution and encourage visitors to learn more about them on their own.

5-0 out of 5 stars The truth
As a current employee of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, I have found this book to be very truthful.I have many passages highlighted.The official response of the museum was to ignore it.The front line employees of the Foundation were really hopeful that this book would be a lesson, and that they would make some needed changes.Now it is 2003, and the museum is facing some really bad times.For the past 8 years, millions and millions of dollars have been spent on back up facilities like libraries, stables, hotels, bridges, and now a fictious plantation.There has been very little done as far as the upkeep of the historic area itself, and quite honestly the place is falling apart.And now the most important element of all is in grave danger, the historic interpreters who pour their hearts and souls into CW could soon be a thing of the past.Layoffs are to be announced this September 2003.The recent purchase of recording devices, are also agiant threat to the interpreters.The interpreters make the town come alive.Colonial Williamsburg has become aplace where the history really does not matter any more!For the past 2 years many of the middle management positions have been filled by former Disney employees!!Ever since the "Disney" people arrived, they no longer offer training about history at all, just customer service training.Please, if you donate money to this worthy cause, stipulate that the money be kept in the historic area, and or go into a fund to help keep the interpreters!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Informative...
This book was assigned in one of my classes and I was very impressed by it.It, despite the opinions of the above reviewer, clearly strove to be balanced and sympathetic in its discussion without losing sight of itsacademic aims.I found it extremely helpful in finding another way to lookat the history I have been presented with at every museum or class I'vebeen to, not just Williamsburg.I went to Williamsburg for the first timeafter I read this book and was much more interested in what I was seeingthan I might otherwise have been -- actually thinking about what I washearing and reading rather than simply swallowing it whole.The bookitself is very well written and enjoyable as well as informative to read --a rare thing among scholarly works.Handler and Gable did an excellentjob.

5-0 out of 5 stars A stunning discussion of the uses of history in America now
This is an invaluable study of the representation of the American past atColonial Willimaburg.It shows us that as much as CW presents itself as areproduction of the past, it nonetheless refelcts the social positions ofits present-day curators, visitors, and financial backers. ... Read more

10. Defining Memory: Local Museums and the Construction of History in America's Changing Communities (American Association for State and Local History Book Series)
by David Kyvig
Paperback: 298 Pages (2007-03-06)
list price: US$30.95 -- used & new: US$24.99
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Asin: 0759110506
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Defining Memory uses case studies of exhibits from around the country to examine how local museums, defined as museums whose collections are local in scope or whose audiences are primarily local, have both shaped and been shaped by evolving community values and sense of history. Levin and her contributors argue that these small institutions play a key role in defining America's self-identity and should be studied as seriously as more national institutions like the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. ... Read more

11. Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses, Spectacles
by Itit Rogoff, Daniel J. Sherman
Paperback: 320 Pages (1994-06-23)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$36.04
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Asin: 0415092744
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Museums display much more than artifacts; Museum Culture makes us on a tour through the complex of ideas, values and symbols that pervade and shape the practice of exhibiting today. Bringing together a broad range of perspectives from history, art history, critical theory and sociology, the contributors to this new collection argue that museums have become a central institution and metaphor in contemporary society.
Discussing exhibition histories and practice in Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, Israel and the United States, the authors explore the ways in which museums assign meaning to art through various kinds of exhibitions and display strategies, examining the political implications of these strategies and the forms of knowledge they invoke and construct. The collection also discusses alternative exhibition forms, the involvement of some museums with the more spectacular practices of mass media culture, and looks at how museums construct their public. ... Read more

12. Making Histories in Museums
by Gaynor Kavanagh
Paperback: 304 Pages (2006-02-01)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$30.72
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Asin: 082647926X
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This exciting new series recognizes the tremendous potential of museum-based histories and the ways in which they can engage people with ideas about the past. People encounter and use museums on many different levels - personal, social and intellectual - ... Read more

13. The Natural History Museum Book of Dinosaurs
by Tim Gardom, Angela Milner
Hardcover: 144 Pages (2006-06-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$16.99
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Asin: 184442183X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A highly illustrated introduction to a remarkable group of animals, based on the world-renowned collection at London’s Natural History Museum and featuring 200 color photos and artworks.

For 160 million years, dinosaurs were the most successful and diverse creatures to dominate the Earth. This book is based on the world-famous fossil collections and permanent "Dinosaurs" exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum. Written by two experts from one of the world’s leading Paleontology departments, this book features hundreds of color photos and illustrations that reveal the astonishing variety of life that proliferated in the Mesozoic Era—the Age of Dinosaurs. Tim Gardom has researched several major exhibitions, including The Natural History Museum’s acclaimed "Dinosaurs." Angela Milner is Head of Fossil Vertebrates at The Natural History Museum. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Scientific Information
Tim Gardom with Angela Milner as Scientific Adviser have included comprehensive data that is known about dinosaurs.The pictures of real fossil skeletons, drawings, and even escavation sites are very interesting and informative.I like how he has arranged the book into categories(8 in all) and then followed up with an appendix, glossary, further reading, and a complete index of this book.He gives an in-depth history of fossil discoveries, while giving explanations from different cultural viewpoints about the bones and what kind of animals they might be.I can see how the Chinese came up with the dragon idea!Our grandchildren love all books about dinosaurs, but they really like this one.I found in my research that it is recommended by a paleontologist as a definite library selection for middle to high school budding paleontologists.If a person in the career of paleontologist likes the book, I think it is a must have!Thanks for this opportunity to review the awesome book! ... Read more

14. Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History
by Douglas J. Preston
Paperback: 256 Pages (1993-11-15)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$10.08
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Asin: 0312104561
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Dinosaurs in the Attic is a chronicle of the expeditions, discoveries, and scientists behind the greatest natural history collection every assembled. Written by former Natural History columnist Douglas Preston, who worked at the American Museum of Natural History for seven years, this is a celebration of the best-known and best-loved museum in the United States.
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Customer Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars A refreshing insight into the Museum's hidden side
This book constitutes a refreshing mixture of morsels and picturesque anecdotes rather than an integrated account on the AMNH history. Divided into two parts separated by a set of historical pictures, the book combines traditional expedition descriptions with intriguing reminiscences of the museum's old days, architecture and former staff.
The first part of the book covers some of the glorious moments in the history of the museum, like the efforts in its creation or the huge expeditions sent out for recollecting specimens. For obvious reasons only a small number of these exploits could be considered, which are however representative of the huge economic and human investment made to establish one of the most important museums in the world.
Among the historic events recollected, we find an account on the very first attempts made towards the foundation of the Museum, information concerning founder Albert S. Bickmore, the first great expeditions sponsored by the Museum [Asia, Arctic regions and the Crocker Land expedition], the golden era of dinosaur's bone hunting, the expeditions of Carl Akeley to Africa or developments after the economic crisis of 1929, once the heroic expedition era was gone. Some historically important personalities deeply related to the Museum, such as Theodore Roosevelt Jr, Margaret Mead, Frederick Ward Putnam or Joel Asaph Allen are barely mentioned,but this is not further tragic because lots of books have been written about these people.
There is only one point in this first part of the book that puzzles me, as it appears to have been overlooked over the years: In the chapter [six] dealing with Barnum Brown, Charles Sternberg and Roy Chapman Andrews, I found some paragraphs that reminded me strongly on J. N. Wilford's "Riddle of the Dinosaur" (1985). Actually, after careful verification, I found that some sentences are practically the same. Although both books were released at practically the same time, and many of the references cited and considered are identical, and information exchange by the authors cannot be excluded, it is quite unpleasant to find such similarities without Wilford's book being cited at all.
The second part of the book recollects interviews with some staff members from the museum, as well as anecdotes concerning various specimens and dependencies usually not open to the public. Here some quite interesting histories on the preparation of specimen's or their accession by the museum are described, like the Chubb horses, the story ofchimpanzee Meshie, the giant meteorites, the Rothschild bird collection, the Copper Man, anecdotes concerning roaches and the NYCTA or the big robbery of 1964, among others. Some are described with many details, while other are only sketched. But they effectively transmit that the Museum goes far beyond the exhibition halls. Often specimens kept in storage vaults are much more interesting that exhibited objects, even if they aesthetical qualities are below standards.
Personally I think that devoting the whole book to these non-official events would have been much more effective, because they correspond to the real, inner atmosphere of the institution, rather than the formal description of facts.
Fortunately, if you take the time to search, some of these anecdotes can be found in the Annual Reports of the AMNH. For example, photographs ofthe skeleton of "Sysonby" mounted by Chubb can be found in the Annual Report of 1908, pages 44-45. In that of 1926, further original descriptions on the expeditions of Burden and Akeley are given, as well as an original photograph of the Kiwu gorilla group before the diorama was done.These official reports are a quite interesting complement to the book, and present some additional material that was not covered by lack of space. Unfortunately the pictures in these reports could not be included in the book. As a final hint concerning the annual reports, those interested in seeing the photographic sequence of the model made from a living Burmese python can find it in the report of 1973, pp. 16-17 and the cover. [P.S: The reports of AMNH are freely accessible at the digital library of the Museum.]
The list of references is quite complete, varying from generic works to more specialized journal articles. Here I miss the book "Bankers, Bones and Beetles: The first Century of the AMNH", by G. T. Hellman (Natural History Press, 1969), which was written in the same anecdotical style.
Summarizing, this is a nice book that will certainly amuse you. For those fans of Preston, many of the anecdotes portrayed in this book were reused [in slightly different form] in his novel "Relic". Actually, the "Cerro de la neblina" expedition of 1984-85 [AR1984, page 23] on the border of Venezuela and Brasil explored the highland [the famous "tepui"] for flora and fauna, and was certainly the inspiration for the Whittlesey expedition in Relic, as well as some other scenes of the novel, like the labyrinth of the former power station.

4-0 out of 5 stars Behind the scenes
This book is an extraordinary look behind the scenes at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. The first half looks at the development of the museum and the explorers who returned with materials from various expeditions. The second half looks at the collections and the stories of how the collections were put together. Readers who are interested in museum collections and early 20th century explorers will want to read this book. There are some wonderful photos of the early buildings, assembly of dinosaurs and mounting of other specimens. Douglas Preston is known for taking a real life incident and turning it into great fiction. This book takes real life and makes it read like fiction!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dinosaurs and More!!!
I had recently visited the Natural History Museum for the first time. This book was a great way to explore the history of the museum and go behind the scenes. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in museums and exploration. I learned a lot of information and fun facts. I am ready for another trip to NYC to see the museum through different eyes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dinosaurs and so much more...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!This is the first non-fiction book I have read written by Douglas Preston.I loved his other books so I gave this one a try. It exceeded my expectations! He made the American Museum of Natural History come to life and now I want to visit it!This is NOT a dull history book! It also made me want to read RELIC again as it's setting is in the museum.This book reads quickly as it shares facts and brings people to life in a fascinating manner.I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed every word.Awesome!

5-0 out of 5 stars take a trip through the Museum
Anyone who is a reader of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child will really love this solo book by Douglas Preston. It takes you through a history of the New York Museum of Natural History as only someone who has worked there can do. As you read this book you'll find yourself saying, over and over, "Oh that's where he got the idea for that book or that's how he knew about that subject". From Dinosaurs to meteors, from Cabinets of Curiosty to the inside workings of a major Museum, this book has it all. If you're a lover of History, a connoisseur of Indiana Jones-like adventures or just someone who likes a good story, this is the book for you. Once you start it you won't be able to put it down until you reach the last page and then you'll be looking for the next book by Mr. Preston. ... Read more

15. Craft in the Machine Age 1920-1945: The History of Twentieth-Century American Craft
by Rosemarie Haag Bletter, N. Y.) American Craft Museum (New York
Hardcover: 304 Pages (1995-10)
list price: US$49.50 -- used & new: US$16.50
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Asin: 0810919680
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars The Marraige of Industry and Design
This book was published as a catalogue for a 1991 show at the American Craft Museum.The show's purpose was to look at Craft in the United States from 1920-1945.This was an exciting period when American industrial designers took many of the emerging ideas of European Modernism and gave these new theories a unique American character.This age known variously as Depression Modern, Streamline, Art Moderne and Art Deco.

What makes this book interesting is that it focuses on craft.There are chapters on wood working, metal working, glass blowing, ceramics and textiles.As would be expected, this book covers the iconic works of the masters such as Teague, Deskey, Rhode and Wright.But there are also a number of less well known craftmen of the period.It is these more obscure figures that make this book compelling.Their contributions illustrate that fact that this was a movement as oppossed to the exceptional works of a few remarkable craftsmen.

"Craft in the Machine Age" is filled with numerous photographs and has chapters on the different crafts written by museum curators and academics.As you would expect, it is a well made professional catalogue of a major art exhibition.This book is a must purchase for enthusiasts of American material culture in the years between the two World Wars.Highly recommended. ... Read more

16. The Management of Small History Museums
by Carl E. Guthe
 Paperback: Pages (1969)

Asin: B000Q58UYW
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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4-0 out of 5 stars The Management of Small History Museums
This book is the second edition of a successful book about many New York state museums the author studied.There have been numerous books written about history museums but Guthe has focused on the small history museum in particular.

While many small museums belong to the American Associaiton of Museums it is supposed that the vast majority of small museums cannot afford to become members of the AAM.These museums are usually run by a small group of dedicated and concerned citizens of the community whose only interest is being judged favorably by the other residence of the community.

When looking for appropriate quarters for the museum consideration should be addressed for growth.One of the most grevious mistakes a small museum makes is its zealousness to provide public access to its exhibits.No museum can, or should, have its entire colleciton on display at any given time.Usually less than half of a museums collection is of interest to the vewing public.

One particular area of interest I discoverd in this book was about students and scholars wanting to study the collections of a small museum.All means should be made available to the scholar.For this cooperation the scholar will custimarily give the museum credit in their published reports.Not only will recognition be given to the museum for its full cooperation but also other scholars and institutions will become aware of the collection materials available for study.

Guthe discusses the organization of the museum.It a full-time director cannot be hired the small museum should try to compensate a part-time person.Voluntarily run museums are at the whim of individuals that have their own agenda of priorities.While volunteers have th museum's best interest at heart, it is an ineffective way to operate.

At the end of the book, addresses are given for the small history museum to contact for advice and counsel with many museum matters.Also given is a list of other publications the small museum might find useful.This book can only be recommended for inclusion into someone's library if they need a small, easy to carry, book for reference or know of someone who wishes to start a small history museum. ... Read more

17. Art of the Classical World in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece o Cyprus o Etruria o Rome (Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications)
by Carlos A. Picon, Sean Hemingway, Christopher Lightfoot, Joan R. Mertens, Elizabeth J. Milleker
Hardcover: 520 Pages (2007-05-07)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$53.45
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Asin: 0300120311
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Nearly 500 outstanding objects from the collection of the Department of Greek and Roman Art in the Metropolitan Museum are assembled in this generously illustrated publication, published to coincide with the opening of the Museum’s new galleries of Hellenistic, Etruscan, and Roman art, and comprehensive Study Center.
The volume includes a detailed history of the collection by Carlos A. Picón and seven chapters that reflect the scope of the collection: the Neolithic and the Aegean Bronze Age, Geometric and Archaic Greece, Classical Greece, the Hellenistic Age, Cyprus, Etruria, and the Roman Empire. Notable are such treasures as a Cycladic figure of about 4500–4000 B.C., a fascinating and meticulously restored bronze and ivory Etruscan chariot from the sixth century B.C., and a number of well-preserved Roman wall paintings. An entry section includes an informative text about each object, along with a map for each chapter and a selection of drawings and details.
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5-0 out of 5 stars Expect quality
I bought this book after visiting the MET and spending a day just in the Roman wing. The book is a very useful reference for the works there; all pictures are in color and each object is described just as in the museum. My only disappointment is that a larger-than-life bronze Greek statue, perhaps my favorite in the entire collection, is not included. Nevertheless, this book, like the MET itself, is almost holy to me. ... Read more

18. The Great Museum: The Re-Presentation of History
by Donald Horne
 Paperback: 265 Pages (1984-11)
list price: US$21.00
Isbn: 0861047885
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19. Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums (American Association for State and Local History Books)
by Mary Alexander
Hardcover: 366 Pages (2007-11-29)
list price: US$85.00 -- used & new: US$68.00
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Asin: 0759105081
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In 1979, Edward P. Alexander's Museums in Motion was hailed as a much-needed addition to the museum literature. In combining the history of museums since the eighteenth century with a detailed examination of the function of museums and museum workers in modern society, it served as an essential resource for those seeking to enter to the museum profession and for established professionals looking for an expanded understanding of their own discipline. Now, Mary Alexander has produced a newly revised edition of the classic text, bringing it the twenty-first century with coverage of emerging trends, resources, and challenges. ... Read more

20. Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions O F Museums
by Edward Porter Alexander
 Paperback: 308 Pages (1978-06)
list price: US$20.95
Isbn: 091005035X
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