Knights of the museum: All about museology

  • HT Education Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2015 14:36 IST

Museology or museum studies can range from the practical, day-to-day skills needed to operate a museum to theories on the societal role of museums. Although museology sounds academic and began with museum theory and practice, today it is much more hands-on and people-centric.

Museologists are involved with object ­documentation, preventive conservation, display and interpretation methods. Many museologists are subject experts on the collections they handle. Museologists work in museums and galleries, both government and private, as curators, museum educationists, exhibition coordinators, consultants, among other roles.

“As a museologist, I am currently working in the museum education sector. We link curriculum to out of school visits, using museum objects to stimulate inquiry and to instil a spirit of learning which children can own. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to bring alive our collections and heritage sites, provide young children a life-long love for the rich material culture of our ­country,” says Sujata Parsai, head, programmes and implementations, Flow India, an organisation which promotes experiential learning by ­employing the rich cultural and material heritage, art in museums and linking these to the curriculum in schools.

All about museology
Object documentation, preventive conservation, display and interpretation, storage and security still remain at the core of museums studies. This is now coupled with public relations, marketing, management, and education

Average sarting salary
The starting salary could be Rs. 15,000 a month while a senior curator or director at a government museum can take home four to five times that amount

I love my job because...
With today’s digital age, collections from anywhere can be accessed through virtual museum displays

Expert gyan
Government jobs are still hard to come by in this profession, but there are a plethora of private spaces where one’s skills can be adapted. The museologist also needs to be apprised about new age technology and development in every field, be it digital photo-documentation, storage, or new methods of conservation.

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