This publication is produced within the three-year research programme EuNaMus – European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, coordinated at Tema Q at Linköping University (www.eunamus.eu).
EuNaMus explores the creation and power of the heritage created and presented by European national museums to the world, Europe and its states, as an unsurpassable institution in contemporary society. National museums are defined and explored as processes of institutionalized negotiations where material collections and displays make claims and are recognized as articulating and representing national values and realities. Questions asked in the project are why, by whom, when, with what material, with what result and future possibilities are this museums shaped.
This Open Access publication presents key findings of research undertaken by the Eunamus consortium in its attempts to understand the ‘museology of Europe’. This notion is used here to describe activities which are peculiar to museums and which result from the manner in which museums assemble and deploy objects. This idea can also be used to understand the museological aspects of the city, in which architecture, buildings, monuments, parks, piazzas and boulevards become curated objects. The museological aspect explored here also acts as a counterpoint to the narrative tradition in museums, explored elsewhere in the work of Eunamus. This research investigated the ways in which the city, online museum-like spaces, and national, regional and local museums produce opportunities for connecting identities. A study of national art museums and capital cities, for example, sought to understand how acts of nation making also produced a sense of Europe and of a shared European identity. This aim addressed a central purpose of Eunamus research: to understand how the portrayal of history in national museums could contribute to greater European social cohesion.