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Call for Papers: The Caring Museum

Proposals should be submitted by Monday 17 November 2014.

Call for Papers: The Caring Museum
Edited by Hamish Robertson

We invite international submissions to be included in this forthcoming book to be published by MuseumsEtc in Spring 2015.

A copy of the full Call for Papers may be downloaded from: bit.ly/CaringCFP

Population ageing is now a recognised demographic process that is leading to major social change globally. The populations of many countries are ageing rapidly and the composition of those populations is shifting upwards - growth is quickest in the oldest age groups. Museums and galleries are increasingly becoming aware of the changes which will affect them as a result.

The focus of thinking to date, however, has very largely been on inclusion, on access and on disability provision. However, older people are not only users of museum services. They are also contributors to them. The Caring Museum will focus particularly on the many ways in which the involvement of older people can contribute to the development and growth of museums, through innovative programmes and bold new thinking.


The book aims to explore current and developmental issues in the field of museums and ageing, with a clear emphasis on the emerging and innovative opportunities which ageing populations present. We are particularly seeking contributions which explore practice-based, research-oriented and conceptual themes.


The Caring Museum will be edited by Hamish Robertson. A geographer by training, he has a unique blend of experience in health, ageing and cultural heritage work, having undertaken more than a decade´s research with the Ageing Research Centre, in addition to both visitor research and multicultural diversity research for the Australia Council.


We welcome international proposals for both chapters and case studies from museum professionals, academics and researchers. Proposals from those with practical experience of evaluating and assessing outcomes in this field are particularly welcome, as are contributions which detail practical experience of innovative programmes, or present the research results of the impact of museum initiatives.

Submissions should focus on one of two key areas:

1. The contributions older people can make to the development, growth and value of museums and galleries.
2. The value and benefits museums and galleries can contribute to society in an ageing world.

Specific aspects of interest include - but are not limited to - the following:

1. The benefits of older people´s involvement in the following aspects of museum work:

* Collection development
* Conservation or restoration
* Fundraising and development
* Income generation
* Marketing
* Membership programmes
* Oral and cultural memory
* Outreach
* Research
* Skills and knowledge transfer
* Staff development
* Travel programmes
* Volunteering

2. The potential social contribution of museums in an ageing world:

* Political and policy inputs and impacts
* The demography of ageing
* Advocacy and leadership development
* Globalised communities - ageing, family networks and migration

Submitting a proposal

If you are interested in being considered as a contributor, please submit a proposal and a short biography (using Microsoft Word). Proposals should be 300-500 words in length and biographies 100-200 words.

You can propose to submit either a chapter or a case study. Chapters will be 4000-6000 words in length. Case studies will be 1000-2000 words. Please prepare your proposal with these parameters in mind. The work should not have been published elsewhere. All contributions must be submitted in English - translation services will not be provided.

The Editor will be happy to assist with collaborator suggestions and contacts in order to facilitate collaborative submissions. Enquiries concerning this should be sent to the Editor as soon as possible and well in advance of the abstract submission deadline.

The deadline for proposals is Monday 17 November 2014. Please email your proposal to both the editor [thecaringmuseum(a)gmail.com] and the publishers [proposals(a)museumsetc.com]. If you have any contribution queries meantime, please email the editor, Hamish Robertson.

The Caring Museum will be published in print and digital editions by MuseumsEtc in 2015. Contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the publication and a discount on more.

Key dates

Proposals due: Monday 17 November 2014
Contributors notified: 1 December 2014
Completed papers due: 26 January 2015

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