352 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Cold War Museology is the first volume to bring together interdisciplinary and international contributions from leading practitioners and academics specialising in Cold War museology.

     Bringing the most recent historiography of the Cold War into conversation with museological theory and practice, chapters within the volume analyse the current condition of Cold War museology. By unpicking some of the unique challenges facing museum specialists dealing with the Cold War, this book takes a lead in developing the collection, display and interpretation of this history. The chapters question what makes a Cold War object; address the complexity of Cold War time; face up to questions of Cold War race, gender and imperialism; and reveal how to materialise the Cold War imaginary in museums. Most importantly perhaps, the volume demonstrates that, a consideration of the interconnecting forces of global twentieth-century history enables experts to add important complexity and nuance to the narratives with which they work and improve visitor understandings through innovative interpretations.

    Cold War Museology will encourage readers towards a more nuanced, holistic and inclusive approach to Cold War materiality in museums. It will be of great interest to academics, museum professionals and students engaged in the study of museums, heritage and the Cold War, as well as those with an interest in archaeology, media, culture and memory.

    1.     Making and unmaking the Cold War in museums

    Holger Nehring, Samuel J.M.M. Alberti and Jessica Douthwaite

    Section One: Networks of materiality

    2.     Readiness for Red Alert: Engaging with the Material Culture of the Royal Observer Corps  

    Sarah Harper

    3.     Anchoring museum objects in the Cold War: The hidden meanings of a Transatlantic telephone cable 

    Holger Nehring

    4.     Beyond Janus-faced narratives: object lessons from the travelling-wave maser  

    Johannes-Geert Hagmann

    5.     The Vulcan’s voice: Multiple meanings of a Cold War artefact  

    Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

    Section Two: Spaces, places and things

    6.     Cold War through the looking glass: Espionage objects, authenticity and multiperspectivity     

    Jim Gledhill

    7.     Bunkers Revisited: Co-producing Memory, Meaning and Materiality in Danish Cold War Museums

    Rosanna Farbøl

    8.     Creating a new Cold War museum: Curatorial reflections 

    Ulla Egeskov & Bodil Frandsen

    9.     A War That Never Was: Locating, collecting, and exhibiting the experiences of British forces in Cold War West Germany

    Peter Johnston

    10.  There can’t be any Berlin Wall left: oral history, ‘domestic museums’ and the search for a British Cold War

    Grace Huxford

    11.  Looking out from Point Alpha: Entangled histories in a Cold War borderland  

    Adam R. Seipp

    Section Three: Values and representations

    12.  Cold War time: Contemporary military heritage in Sweden

    Cecilia Åse, Mattias Frihammar, Fredrik Krohn Andersson and Maria Wendt Robinson  

    13.  How the U-2 became a museum object – local identities and museum collections at the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø

    Karl Kleve

    14.  Competing for authenticity, nostalgia, and visitor revenue in Cold War Museums

    Peter Robinson and Milka Ivanova

    15.  What Colour was the Cold War? 

    Jessica Douthwaite


    Jessica Douthwaite is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Stirling working on the AHRC-funded collaboration with National Museums Scotland, Materialising the Cold War. Her Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD based at IWM London and University of Strathclyde was titled “Voices of the Cold War in Britain, 1945-1962” and awarded in 2018. She is currently writing a monograph which explores how the national and international landscapes of post-war Britain contextualised and influenced civilian experiences of Cold War security. She specialises in museum studies, ethnographic and interview methodology, and gender and international histories. 

    Holger Nehring is Professor of Contemporary European History at the University of Stirling. He has published widely on the history of social movements in a transnational and global context as well as on the conceptual history of the Cold War. Together with Sam Alberti, he is the Co-I for the AHRC-funded project 'Materialising the Cold War'.

    Samuel J.M.M. Alberti is Director of Collections at National Museums Scotland, and an Honorary Professor in Heritage Studies at the University of Stirling. After training in history of science and teaching museology he worked at the intersection of museums and universities, first at the Manchester Museum, then as Director of Museums and Archives at the Royal College of Surgeons of England (including the Hunterian Museum). With Holger Nehring he led the AHRC-funded research project, ‘Materialising the Cold War’.