The importance of being earnest: an inquiry into the complex role of a school-based museum curator

Kerby, Martin and Baguley, Margaret Mary (2010) The importance of being earnest: an inquiry into the complex role of a school-based museum curator. International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, 2 (4). pp. 29-39. ISSN 1835-2014


St Joseph’s Nudgee College, an Australian Catholic school for boys, has been operating since 1891 with a philosophy based on the Edmund Rice tradition. Recently there has been increased interest in the history of the college and the decision was made to establish a permanent museum and
archives which could be actively used by the school community. Tensions became immediately evident in regards to what would be displayed and documented given that the older section of the school community nostalgically viewed the College’s Irish Catholic and outback traditions. The current demographic of the College, however, is representative of a much broader mix of nationalities and
cultural backgrounds. The curriculum plan of the college seeks to educate students through a student centered
curriculum that aims to develop critically aware and culturally sensitive world citizens by addressing political, philosophical, environmental and gender issues. The curator has endeavored to remain true to the traditions of the college whilst also creating exhibitions, site tours and classroom resources which interrogate contemporary issues using the established values of the college to create
a spirit of inquiry. The purpose of this paper is to document the beginning stage of the journey that has been undertaken by the curator, in conjunction with the college community, to create a collection which aims to be inclusive, educative and relevant in a 21st century framework, whilst also respecting and acknowledging the college’s history.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2010 04:52
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2016 00:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: museum; boys’ education; collection; curator; curriculum; identity
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2102 Curatorial and Related Studies > 210204 Museum Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200206 Globalisation and Culture
21 History and Archaeology > 2102 Curatorial and Related Studies > 210202 Heritage and Cultural Conservation
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment

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