Seeking out resources that address museums and inclusion can be challenging. Sometimes the topic can seem so broad that one might not know where to start. When we first started the Incluseum, we perceived a notable lack of sufficient research or specific examples addressing best practices for inclusion in museums. The reference list below reflects sources that have been invaluable to us in our work and education and will likely be helping us far into the future! What inclusion resources have been useful to you? Leave your suggestions as a comment and we will add them to The Incluseum reference list so that the word can keep spreading! [We apologize if links are broken. While we aim to verify and update links on a yearly basis, they might not all be up to date.]
American Alliance of Museums. (2018). Facing Change: Insights from the American Alliance of Museums’ Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Working Group.
Autism in the Museum This website offers examples and resources to museums and other informal educational setting interested in engaging with children on the autism spectrum. This site was launched by Lisa Jo Rudy, a museum writer, consultant, and mother of a teen with an autism spectrum diagnosis. She’s been involved with researching, writing, training, and consulting on autism and inclusion since 2006.
Center for the Future of Museums. (2008). Museums & Society 2034: Trends and Potential Futures. (Chapters of particular interest: The Changing Face of America).
Center for the Future of Museums. (2010). Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums.
Center for the Future of Museums. (2012). Trends Watch 2012: Museums and the Pulse of the Future. (Chapters of particular interest: Takin’ it to the Streets and Creative Aging.)
Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium has compiled a list of cultural accessibility and inclusion resources for everything from exhibition design to presentations.
Dodd, J., & Sandell, R. (2001). Including Museums: Perspectives on Museums, Galleries and Social Inclusion. Research Center for Museums and Galleries: University of Leicester.
The Empathetic Museum. This blog is a collaborative effort that explores what a culture of empathy looks like in museums.
From the Margins to the Core? An international conference that explored the shifting roles and increasing significance of diversity and equality in contemporary museum and heritage policy and practice. Conference videos, reflections, and papers.
Group for Large Local Authority Museums. (2000). Museums and Social Inclusion: GLLAM Report. Research Center for Museums and Galleries: University of Leicester.
Jackson, M. R. and Herranz, J. (2003, November 1). Art and Culture in Communities: Unpacking Participation.
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience: “…sites, individuals, and initiatives activating the power of places of memory to engage the public in connecting past and present in order to envision and shape a more just and humane future.” Organizations can join as members and gain access to resources, training and capacity building strategies provided by the Coalition.
Lopez, M. and Candiano, J. Room to Grow: A Guide to Arts Programming in Community Spaces for Families Affected by Autism. (2012).
Matarasso, F. (1997). Use or Ornement?: The Social Impact of Participation in the Arts. Comedia.
Multimodal Approaches to Learning Conference: Podcasts. A selection of presentations at the Multimodal Approaches to Learning Conferences, co-sponsored by Art Education for the Blind and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and held at the Met.
Museums & Race 2016 Reading List. Compiled by Planning Team Leaders and Facilitators of the Museum & Race 2016 Convening in Chicago.
Museums and Society. This is a free, peer-reviewed, online journal published by the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies. Some issues have interesting articles that touch on themes of social inclusion and representation.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). When the Going Gets Tough Report: Barriers and Motivations Affecting Arts Attendance. (2015)
trivedi, nikhil. “Pronoun Stickers at MCN 2016.” Museum Computers Network Blog, (2016).
The Pop-Up Museum is a project directed by the Museum of Art and History of Santa Cruz. The site hosts a great how-to, organizer’s kit and many examples of past pop-ups. You can even submit information regarding your own pop-up museum!
Reach & Associates. (2010). Who’s Coming to Your Museum?
Resources for the Museum Industry to Discuss the Issue of Unpaid Internships. (2015). American Alliance of Museums.
Sandell, R. (2003). Social Inclusion, the Museum and the Dynamics of Sectoral Change. Museum and Society, 1 (1), 45–62.
Sidford, H. (2010). Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. (A recent analysis of this report here.)
Social Justice Alliance of Museum aims to build an international platform to promote best practices related to social justice and democracy in museums. The site hosts many inspiring case studies.
Southern Poverty Law Center’s, “Who’s Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy” Report. (2016).
Visitors of Color. A wonderful site compiling voices and perspectives of visitors of color as they reflect on museums.
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Top 10 Principles for Community-Based Work (scroll to “Our Values”).
Barrett, J. (2010). Museums and the Public Sphere. John Wiley and Sons.
Bourdieu, P. (1993). The Field of Cultural Production. Columbia University Press. (Bourdieu conducted early and extensive audience research at European art museums. Conclusions of research address class barriers to access/social exclusion.)
Brown, C., Wood, E., & Salgado G. (Eds.). (2009). Inspiring Action: Museums and Social Change. London: MuseumsEtc.
Gurian, E. (2010). From Soloist to Impresario. In F. Cameron and L. Kelly (eds.) Hot Topics, Public Culture, Museums. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Gurian, E. (2010). Museums as Soup Kitchen. Curator: The Museum Journal 53(1), 71-85.
Kreps, Christina. (2003). Liberating Culture. Routledge.
Lonetree, Amy. (2012). Decolonizing Museums. UNC Press. (A project of First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies.)
Museums and Social Issues. (This is a peer-reviewed journal that explores contemporary social issues and their engagement with museums. Most issues are relevant to the theme of social inclusion in museums)
Sandell, R. (Ed.). (2002). Museums, Society, Inequality. New York: Routledge. (This book presents international examples of museums working towards social inclusion.)
Sandell, R. & Nightingale, E. (Eds.). (2012). Museums, Equality, and Social Justice. New York: Routledge.
Silverman, L. (2010). The Social Work of Museums. London: Routledge.
Sullivan Sorin, G. (2007) The Problem of the 21st Century is Still the Color Line. Museums & Social Issues 2(1), 11-44. ( If you are interested in the Sorin & Ladson Billings articles then check out the article by Liz Dwyer)
Teslow, T. (2007). A Troubled Legacy: Making and Unmaking Race in the Museum. Museums & Social Issues, 2(1), 11–44.
ONLINE & PRINT – APPLICABLE TO THE MUSEUM FIELD AND BEYOND
You can read more about racial justice specific resources here.
Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.
A syllabus on Urban Design, Race and Justice posted on CityLab.com here.
Applied Research Center. (2011). Racial Equity Impact Assessment Toolkit.
Eck, D. L. (2006). From Diversity to Pluralism. On Common Ground: World Religions in America, Columbia University Press.
Hayward, C. R., & Swanstrom, T. (2011). Justice and the American Metropolis. U of Minnesota Press.
Ladson-Billings, G. (2006). From the Achievement Gap to the Education Debt: Understanding Achievement in U.S. Schools. Educational Researcher, 35(7), 3 –12.
Low, S. Taplin, D. and S. Scheld. (2005). Rethinking Urban Parks: Public Space and Cultural Diversity. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.