History of Museums and Museology - 1st semester


a) To know milestones in the history of museums;
b) To know and to reflect on the multiplicity of the museum field and the essential aspects of its complexity;
d) To exercise a critical analysis of exhibition spaces.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Alexandra Curvelo


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





AMBROSE, T.; PAINE, C., Museum Basics (3 ed.). London: Routledge, 2012
BENNETT, Tonny, The Birth of the Museum. London: Routledge, 1995
BRIGOLA, João Carlos Pires, Colecções, Gabinetes e Museus em Portugal no século XVIII. Lisboa: FCG/FCT, 2003
CLAIR, Jean, Malaise dans les musées. Paris: Flammarion, 2007
HOOPER-GREENHILL, Eilean, Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge. London and New York: Routledge, 1992
MAIRESSE, François, Nouvelles Tendances de la Muséologie. Paris: La Document, 2016
PEARCE, Susan (ed.), Interpreting objects and collections. London: Routledge, 1994
MACDONALD, Sharon (ed.), A Companion to Museum Studies. Blackwell Publishing, 2006.
HOHENSTEIN, Jill; MOUSSOURI, Theano, Museum Learning. Theory and Research as Tools for Enhancing Practice. London; New York: Routledge, 2018
SILVA, Raquel H. da, “Os museus: Histórias e prospectiva”, Século XX. Panorama da cultura portuguesa. Porto: Edições Afrontamento/Fundação de Serralves, 2002, 3º vol., pp. 65-108

Teaching method

Lectures supported by images, complemented by the discussion of texts.

Evaluation method

The assessment consists in the ability to discuss the texts previously given and presented in the classroom (40%) and the writing and oral presentation of an essay in one of the areas covered by the programme and previously agreed with the Professor. All grading elements are mandatory. Late papers will be penalized and may not be accepted.

Subject matter

The program of study settled for this course is meant to provide students with a solid foundation for critical knowledge of the realities and problems of museums throughout their history as well as their contemporary challenges. It is structured according to six core guidelines of study and discussion:
1. General introduction to the concept of Museum according to ICOM (2004) and the General Law for the Portuguese Museums (2007);
2. The origin of the Museum;
3. Museums and collecting in early modern times;
4. Museums in the 19th century (European and extra-European context);
5. The Museums in Portugal from the 18th to the 20th century;
6. Contemporary debates.


Programs where the course is taught: