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About the Program

Director's Welcome

Cynthia RobinsonTufts' museum studies program enables students and faculty members to use their experiences, the ever-growing body of museum literature, and case studies to explore trends, emerging standards, and new strategies in the museum field.

When I took my first museum job, we mostly learned by the seat of our pants, or under the tutelage of a more experienced employee. Now museum professionals need to know about things like universal access, shared authority, outcome-based planning, digital tools, tiered collection management strategies, and co-curation. We need to understand the threats to non-profit tax exemptions and the pros and cons of charging admission in addition to traditional, discipline- based knowledge.

These days, museums define their value by how they contribute to society, rather than by the quality of their collections. Museum professionals are recognizing there are many points of view, many lenses through which to understand ideas and care for objects. Sensitivity to multiple perspectives comes from exposure to ideas from different disciplines and different types of museums.

After more than two decades of working in and with museums, what I find most invigorating about the Tufts museum studies program is the cross-fertilization of ideas that prepares students to make a difference.

Cynthia Robinson