Making applied history work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


This presentation argues that people from the world of museums can aid the process of collaboration between historians, curators and their staff by encouraging awareness by all concerned of 5 main conceptual issues that need to be addressed. First, applied history for exhibitions and displays needs a big idea, or theme. Secondly, an exhibition needs artefacts or illustrations and the historian may well find that these are not always readily and easily available in the course of their everyday academic research. Thirdly, ‘iconic’ artefacts are needed – ones that symbolise something important and wider from the past. Fourthly, explanations need to be both clear but also to reflect the process of discovery. Last but not least, both sides need to recognise the skills of the other side if a synergy is to emerge – and it is precisely the nature of that synergy that museum studies lends itself to understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMuseums Australia (NSW) Symposium 2011
Subtitle of host publicationabstracts
EditorsAndrew Simpson, Paul Bentley
Place of PublicationNorth Ryde, N.S.W.
PublisherMacquarie University Printery
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9781741383737
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventNew Directions for NSW Museums : Place Space and Identify - North Ryde, N.S.W.
Duration: 18 Apr 201119 Apr 2011


ConferenceNew Directions for NSW Museums : Place Space and Identify
CityNorth Ryde, N.S.W.


  • Museums Australia
  • Applied History
  • Art Gallery


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