Advocacy & Social JusticeLawNonprofit & NGOs

ARCP 267 – Museum Collections: Ethical Considerations and Practical Applications

Serving as a broad overview of museology, this course introduces students to the principles underlying the foundations of museum work and collections stewardship. Topics covered will include the origins of museums and collecting, the rationale behind museum policies, and the legal frameworks and professional standards that guide collections management. Ethical considerations surrounding issues such as NAGPRA/repatriation, decolonization, accessibility, looted artifacts, and cultural patrimony will also be covered. Finally, students will explore the practical aspects of preventive conservation, museum documentation, and exhibition development. Although topics covered in this course will apply to a variety of museums, the primary focus will be on cultural heritage collections. Readings and class discussions will be supplemented with hands-on exercises using the Wesleyan University Archaeology & Anthropology Collection.

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