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Title: The historical development of university museums in Jordan (1962-2006) : objectives and perspectives ; case studies of archaeology museums at the Jordan and Yarmouk Universities
Authors: Ajaj, Ahmad M.
Award date: 2007
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to explore in depth the historical development of university archaeology museums in Jordan from 1962 to the present day. The development of concepts and perspectives is revealed through an exploration of the operation and deployment of institutional mission, staffing, exhibitions, collection development, architecture and spatial arrangement, outreach and funding. In order to achieve a high resolution study, two case studies were selected: the Archaeology Museum at the University of Jordan/Amman (established 1962), which is the earliest example of this kind of museum in the country, and the Museum of Jordanian Heritage at Yarmouk University/Irbid (established 1984), which is considered the most successful of these museums. These two museums represent different stages in the establishment of museum culture in Jordan. A core method adopted in this research is that of oral history, but it also involves examination of the documentary record and the physical attributes of the museums themselves. This study reveals radically different conceptions of the museum in Jordan in the latter half of the twentieth century. The museum at the University of Jordan embodied the values of the 1960s, which constrained its ambitions and limited its success, while that at Yarmouk University used this earlier model as the antithesis of its vision, shaping a thoroughly modern and outward-looking institution. It did this, in part, by drawing in staff from the older museum. The Yarmouk University Museum, in a country still coming to terms with the museum concept, made itself a modern centre of local and international networks. Indeed, it took on some of the characteristics of a national museum. The factors that made this transformation in museum thinking possible reflect local conditions in Jordan, where the influence of the Royal Family is significant. However, they also reveal the overriding significance of key visionaries and how the country moved from overt Western influence to develop museums which are quintessentially Jordanian.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Museum Studies
Leicester Theses

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