Volume 6, Number 2, 1997

Museum studies celebrates

One of the oldest and most nationally recognized programs in the country, the University's Museum Studies Program this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

As part of the celebration, the program this spring hosted a conference on the Newark campus, entitled "Museums, Education and the New Technology: Computers, the Internet and Multi-Media Applications for the 21st Century."

A non-degree, certificate-granting program for graduate students, the museum studies program combines the study of museology with a large selection of academic disciplines-the only museum studies certificate program in the country to do so.

"The program is unique nationally- a certificate program allied with a variety of disciplines. It is quite an interesting mix and very exciting to teach," says Bryant Tolles, program director.

The program's instructors emphasize learning in a museum-related academic discipline that is supplemented with exposure to museum theory, methodology and practice, Tolles says. A student in any discipline can enroll in the program, but most students are from graduate degree programs in history, art history, art conservation, the Winterthur Early American Culture Program or the Longwood public horticulture program.

Also, he says, it is now possible for a student enrolled in both the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program and the MBA program to concurrently earn a certificate in museum studies.

The program was established in 1972 at a time when the museum field was expanding at an incredible rate, Tolles says. Before World War II, there were approximately 4,000 museums in the United States; today, they number around 8,000. The 1976 American bicentennial, in particular, led to the founding of many.

-Jennifer Bevan, Delaware '97