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Title: The British Museum : the cultural politics of a national institution, 1906-1939
Author: Kehoe, Elisabeth Sara
ISNI:       0000 0001 3596 3876
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Institute of Historical Research (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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The British Museum, founded in 1753, is one of the world's greatest cultural institutions. Its historical and contemporary significance is enormous: the Museum continues to receive over six million visitors a year, and its large collections span the world's civilisations. The dissertation will begin by setting out in detail the place of the British Museum in national life, by examining questions of nationalism and museums, and culture and national identity. It will also examine the background of the Museum, and how it has been studied in the past. Part Two of the Introduction will explain how the Museum actually worked. It was a unique and complicated institution, based on a series of legislative acts that determined the complex Trustee structure by which it was governed. A number of specific challenges faced the Museum during the period 1906 to 1939; these episodes are described in the five subsequent chapters, each providing a discussion and analysis of an event that caused friction and problems for the Museum's management - often leading to unwelcome scrutiny in the form of letters to the Press and questions in Parliament. Beginning in 1906, with the forced retirement of Dr. Ray Lankester, and examining a wide variety of episodes up to 1939, the dissertation will investigate the issues of access and funding, the use of public fund-raising, the place of private sponsors and sponsorship, and will end with a chapter on the evacuation of the collections in 1939, and a discussion on what the collections meant to the nation. The final chapter will attempt to answer the question of whether there was a model, or indeed a 'British' approach to the Museum's governance. Using the questions asked in the chapters, the conclusion will answer the questions posed in The Introduction, of situating the institution within a political and social context, by using the material generated by studying the workings of the Museum's life during the period. The conclusion will describe the institution in a depth and with an understanding hitherto lacking in studies of its history, by providing evidence of how it functioned, along with a critical appreciation and explanation of why.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sport & Recreation