Introduction to Museology


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 da Silva Campos


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 168

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

a final exam(40%), a midterm(20%), a short essay (40%)

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: