Permanent museum collections from alternative classrooms to tourist attractions: Comparative analysis of visits to National Museum of Valjevo’s collections in periods from 1951 to 1961 and from 2001 to 2011

  • Vladimir Krivošejev National museum Valjevo
  • Željko Bjeljac Geographical institute “Jovan Cvijić” SASA, Belgrade
Keywords:
museum, permanent collection, attendance, audience, education, tourism

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to fully observe the differences in the structure of the audiences attending permanent museum collections and to point to museums’ present day tasks. While the introductory part examines the problematic concerning museum audiences and the varieties of museum programs, the main portion of the paper presents the results of an analysis of the numbers and the structure of museum visitors in two periods set half a century apart: 1951–1961 and 2001– 2011, with a control group: a more complete analysis of 2013’s visitors. The analysis of attendance during the fifties and the beginning of the 21st century was conducted on the basis of existing physical materials from the museum’s internal archive, while the control analysis of 2013 attendance was conducted by a search of an electronic database. The research pointed to significant differences in the structure of the visitor body in different periods, whether they were concerning the company arriving (individuals or organized groups), or their residence (in or out of town). In the 1950s, town residents were the dominating visitors. They were frequenting the museum of their own accord, in their leisure time, as per their own wishes and needs, led by the desire to have a cultural experience and an informal self-education. Half a century later, with a broad spectrum of new media offering pastimes that were unavailable before, the audience was dominated by organized groups arriving from out of town; predominantly students on excursions. These differences indicate that there was a big shift in the function of permanent museum collections in the last fifty years. Their role as permanent educators of local population has significantly diminished, but their role as a leading tourist attraction has inflated nonetheless.

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Published
2016-11-02
How to Cite
Krivošejev, Vladimir, and Željko Bjeljac. 2016. “Permanent Museum Collections from Alternative Classrooms to Tourist Attractions: Comparative Analysis of Visits to National Museum of Valjevo’s Collections in Periods from 1951 to 1961 and from 2001 to 2011”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 11 (3), 913–933. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v11i3.13.