Introduction to Museum Studies - 1st semester


a) To know milestones in the history of museums;
b) To describe the main functions of the museums in relation to conservation, research; exhibition and communication;
c) To exercise a critical analysis of exhibition spaces.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Alexandra Curvelo


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





AAVV, Inquérito aos museus em Portugal. Lisboa: Instituto Português de museus, 2000
ALONSO FERNÁNDEZ, Luis , Museologia. Introducción a la teoria y práctica del museo. Madrid: Istmo, 1995
BENETT, Tony, The birth of the museum. London, New York: Routledge, 1995.
BOURDIEU, Pierre; DARBEL, Alain, L´amour de l´art. Les musées d´art européens et leur public. Paris: Minuit, 1969
DESVALLÉES, André; MAIRESSE, François (Dir.), Dictionnaire encyclopédique de muséologie. Paris, Armand Colin, 2011
MACDONALD, Sharon (Ed.), A Companion to Museum Studies. Blackwell Publishing, 2006
PEARCE, S. M., Interpreting objects and collections. London: Routledge, 1994
TRINDADE, Maria Beatriz Rocha (coord.),Iniciação à Museologia. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta, 1993.

Teaching method

Lectures supported by images, complemented by visits to museums and exhibitions in Lisbon.

Evaluation method

The assessment consists in carrying out an essay in one of the areas covered by the programme and in two written exams. Students are graded based on a midterm (20%), a final exam (40%), a short essay (20%) and class participation (20%). Students must attend at least to 80% of classes given). All grading elements are mandatory. Late papers will be penalized and may not be accepted.

Subject matter

The history of the museums: collecting; spaces opened to the public; 19th century museums; the renewal of the museum in the 20th century; the extension of the museum concept and the new museology.

Museology and museography: definition of words and concepts; from the inventory to the documentation systems; from preventive conservation to restoration; storage, permanent collection, temporary exhibitions; communication in museums.

Museums in Portugal: collecting in the early modern period; historical context (18th-19th centuries), the 19th century; case studies (e.g. The National Art Museum).

Contemporary questions in Museum Studies.


Programs where the course is taught: