in Museum 

Use of Archival Film and Photography in Museum Exhibitions 

Nola Anderson
Australian War Memorial 

Photographs and archival film are two extremely powerful tools for communication within the museum environment. The aim of this project will be to examine the characteristics these media bring to the museum setting, the roles they have played to date within the exhibition communication process, and how their maximum potential within an exhibition can be realized. 

The central issues to be addressed will be:

- In what ways have these two media been used in contemporary exhibitions?

- What are the essential characteristics of these two media as tools of communication?

- Does the museum environment change the way these two media communicate? 

This research will provide essential insights into two of the contemporary museumís most powerful tools of communication. Knowledge of how these operate within the museum context will allow museum professionals to employ these media in the most effective way possible in the development of exhibitions. 

In addition, there will be the opportunity to develop an understanding of how broader cultural attitudes to these media interrelate with their use within museums. The communication process within a museum exhibition is extremely complex. Contemporary culture sets high demands on museums to communicate effectively with its audience. An exhibition must arouse wonder, provoke questions, extend experience, renew memories, invite reflection. In whatever way possible, using all the means at hand, museum professionals must harness the power of their collections to achieve all this and more. The more detailed knowledge we have of these processes, the more effectively we will be able to communicate with our audiences. In addition, the project will offer an opportunity for exchange of research and expertise between Australia and the United States, based on the experiences and resources of each countryís leading cultural institutions.



Return to start of Fellowships in Museum Practice

Go to start of Center for Museum Studies

Smithsonian Home Page