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Community museums and the creation of a ‘sense of place’: Holocaust Museums in Australia

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2014, 00:00 authored by Steven CookeSteven Cooke, A Alba, Donna-Lee FriezeDonna-Lee Frieze
Community museums have traditionally focused on a particular geographical location. This proximity between museums and the focus of their collection give them a unique opportunity to make connections between objects, the museum building, landscape, and community. These linkages are one of the key strengths of local museums due to their potential to tell inclusive stories of people and place. Australian Holocaust museums are displaced from this geographical proximity and situated at great distance from the events they commemorate. Due to the intense involvement of survivors in their inception and development, however, such museums have been driven, indeed, defined by communal imperatives. This paper examines the connections between community and place constructed through these museums. Further, it asks how community, place and the local are defined, and how and in what way the community museums examined make connections between here and there, then and now.

This paper takes as its focus two Holocaust museums in Australia: the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne and the Sydney Jewish Museum. After briefly exploring the origins of the respective institutions and the motivations of those involved, the paper discusses how the museums construct ideas of community and place, focusing particularly on the complex imaginative geography that creates intimate, emotional connections between different times and places.

History

Journal

reCollections

Volume

9

Issue

1

Pagination

1 - 1

Publisher

National Museum of Australia

Location

Canberra, ACT

ISSN

1833-1335

eISSN

1833-4946

Language

eng

Notes

Online publication only

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2014, The Authors

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