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Changing roles of history museums in the making of citizens and communities

Abstract

Two centuries old, national history museums have never been so vital as they are today, nor have they had so many visitors: numbers incomparable with those of best-selling history books. At the crossroads of research, the production of master narratives, popularization and public history, history museums put the past on display, often shifting between a longue durée perspective and a retour de l’événement . More often, they shift between history and memory, a process in which Mnemosyne is more involved than Clio. This paper deals with the broad context of the last two decades, but ultimately concentrates  on a few European cases of recent years.

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