Local Museums and the Limes: The role of local museums in enhancing support for the Dutch Roman Limes amongst local communities

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Local Museums and the Limes: The role of local museums in enhancing support for the Dutch Roman Limes amongst local communities

Type: Master thesis
Title: Local Museums and the Limes: The role of local museums in enhancing support for the Dutch Roman Limes amongst local communities
Author: Koppelman, Merel
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: Dutch Roman Limes
Local museums
Public support
Local communities
UNESCO World Heritage nomination
Community engagement
Exhibition presentation
Public outreach
Community participation
Abstract: Concerns have been raised regarding the low level of public support for the Dutch Roman Limes, considering its upcoming UNESCO World Heritage nomination. With regard to this issue, this thesis set out to gain insight into the role Dutch local museums with a Roman collection do and could play in enhancing support for the Limes amongst the local community. Four local museums were selected as case studies: Stadsmuseum Woerden, Woerden; Museum Swaensteyn, Voorburg; Liemers Museum, Zevenaar; and Museum Dorestad, Wijk bij Duurstede. The data for this research was gathered through analysis of the Roman exhibitions in these museums and interviews with museum staff members and volunteers. Community engagement, the idea of creating a dialogue between the community and the museums (and their Roman exhibitions), provided the theoretical framework for this research. The main issue brought to light in this thesis is the seeming lack of support for these museums amongst their local communities, because of which they do not reach many people amongst the local communities for the Limes. If alterations are made to the Roman presentations to facilitate personal connections, outreach efforts are targeted at audiences other than the standard ones, and community participation is encouraged by these museums, the amount of support from the local community for the museums and their Roman collections could increase. To enhance public support for the Dutch Roman Limes, the museums should present their Roman exhibitions as a part of, and a contribution to, the overall story of the Limes. To achieve all the above, it is essential to intensify cooperation amongst the Limes museums, cooperation with stakeholders in the local and regional areas, and cooperation with Stichting Romeinse Limes Nederland. All in all, this research has revealed that the current role of the local museums in enhancing public support for the Limes amongst the local community, is marginal. However, if the suggestions outlined in this thesis are considered, these museums have great potential to increase support for the Limes amongst the local communities. This would further justify the Limes World Heritage nomination and strengthen the position of the local museums as public institutions and guardians of (local) heritage. In the end, telling the story of the Limes to a broader audience and thereby, hopefully, enriching the lives of the inhabitants of the Limes area, is the ultimate goal.
Supervisor: Dries, M.H. van den
Faculty: Faculty of Archaeology
Department: Archaeology (Master)
Specialisation: Museum studies
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/52252
 

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