Museums in the Market Research Age

  • Kenneth Hudson


In 1961 Duncan F. Cameron and D. S. Abbey took stock of what had so far been accomplished by research into the character, habits and wishes of visitors to museums. Their conclusions were not encouraging. ‘For over thirty years now,’ they wrote,

museum workers in North America have been using scientific methods in the study of museum audiences. Unknowing visitors have been tracked through galleries by observers armed with stop-watch and clip-board. Thousands have been accosted by interviewers at the turnstiles, in the exhibit halls and in the street. Yet in spite of these many and varied endeavors, the useful knowledge accumulated is slight, and the value of such investigations remains a matter of diverse opinion in the museum profession.1


Trade Fair Social History Science Museum Museum Visitor Museum Staff 
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  1. 11.
    Wallace N. MacBrian ‘Testing Your Audience’, Museum News, vol. 42 no. 8 (Apr 1964) p. 16.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    Lee A. Parsons, ‘Systematic Testing of Display Techniques for an Anthropoligical Exhibit’, Curator, vol. 7 no. 2 (1965) p. 186.Google Scholar
  3. 19.
    Doughty shows great sympathy with the views expressed by W. E. Washburn in ‘The Museum’s responsibility in Adult Education’, Curator, vol. 7 no. 1 (1964).Google Scholar

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© Kenneth Hudson 1975

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  • Kenneth Hudson

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