The value of touch and object handling in museums is little understood, despite the overwhelming weight of anecdotal evidence which confirms the benefits of physical interaction with objects. Touch in Museums presents a ground-breaking overview of object handling from both historical and scientific perspectives. The book aims to establish a framework for understanding the role of object handling for learning, enjoyment, and health. The broad range of essays included explores the many different contexts for object handling, not only within the museum, but extending beyond it to hospitals, schools and the wider community. The combination of theoretical analysis, policy assessment and detailed case material make Touch in Museums invaluable reading for students and professionals of museology or cultural heritage.
Table of Contents
List of IllustrationsList of ContributorsIntroductionHelen ChatterjeePART I What Do We Mean By Touch?1 Museums, modernity and the class politics of touching objects Fiona Candlin2 Making sense of touchCharles Spence and Alberto Gallace3 Emotional touch: A neuroscientific overviewHugo Critchley4 Explorations in exploratory touch: The role of feeling in touching objectsFrancis McGlonePART II New Technologies for Enhancing Object Interpretation5 The use of haptic interfaces in haptics researchChristos Giachritsis6 Tactual explorations: A tactile interpretation of a museum exhibit through tactile artworks and augmented realityIsil Onol7 CONTACT: Digital modelling of object and process in artefact teaching Roger Doonan and Michael Boyd8 Out of touch? Digital technologies, ethnographic objects and sensory ordersGraeme Were9 A versatile large-scale multimodal VR system for cultural heritage visualisationCeline Loscos10 Touch technologies and museum accessRobert Zimmer, Janis Jefferies and Mandayam SrinivasanPART III Touch and Memory11 A memory for touch: The cognitive psychology of tactile memoryAlberto Gallace and Charles Spence12 Aesthetics of touch among the elderlyMichael Rowlands13 Reminiscence: Recent work at The British MuseumLaura Phillips14 Getting a handle on the past: The use of objects in reminiscence workBernie ArighoPART IV Therapeutic Approaches to Touch15 Enrichment programmes in hospitals: Using museum loan boxes in University College London HospitalGuy Noble and Helen Chatterjee16 See, touch and enjoy: Newham University Hospital's nostalgia room, Jackie O'Sullivan17 Measuring the 'difficult to measure'Caroline SelaiPART V Knowledge Transfer in Object Handling 18 How accessible are museums today?Marcus Weisen.19 The British Museum in Pentonville Prison: Dismantling barriers through touch and handlingJane Samuels, The British Museum.20 The amenable object: working with diaspora communities through a psychoanalysis of touchBernadette Lynch.The FutureTouch and the value of object handling: Final conclusions for a new sensory museologyDevorah Romanek and Bernadette Lynch.Index
Helen J. Chatterjee is Deputy Director of Museums & Collections and a Lecturer in Biology at University College London.
"The volume as a whole is an important examination on the use of object handling in museums. - Museum Ireland A book filled with theories and philosophies, visions of what museums can be, and academically derived understandings of touch and its value in a variety of contexts... a book that inspires. - Visitor Studies - Christine Reich"