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Museums, Cultural Heritage and Collections



The central theme of this course is the collection, presentation, conservation and management of cultural heritage, in the past and in the present day, in a national and international context. The emphasis will be on the development of the museum and on architectural, social and theoretical issues concerning contemporary museums and museum presentations.

Course Objectives

  • Being able to distinguish the most important types of collections in various museums, archives, monuments, and heritage sites and identify similarities and differences.

  • Knowing why and in what ways individuals and institutions have collected cultural objects and have established heritage collections.

  • Basic knowledge of the ways in which heritage collections in the course of time have been made accessible to various audiences.

  • Being able to classify, characterize and analyse heritage collections.

  • Being able to identify and understand crucial historical and contemporary museum practices and debates.

  • Being experienced in writing short critical essays on museum matters: e.g. on museum architecture and museum exhibitions.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture series


  • Tuesday 15-17 hrs and Friday 13-15 hrs (two times a week!) . Please note: for the final schedule refer to Collegeroosters / Timetable on the Art History website.

Course Load

Course load summary: 10 ects (280 hrs)

48 hrs: Attending lectures (4 hrs weekly x 12 weeks)
48 hrs: Lecture preparations
50 hrs: Preparing and writing a paper (practical assignment)
90 hrs: Studying the literature (450 pp à 5 pp/hour)
40 hrs: Exam preparation (writing abstracts etc.)
04 hrs: Exams
280 hrs

Assessment method

  • Written mid-course exam (40% of the grade)

  • Short practical assignment (20% of the grade)

  • Written final exam (40% of the grade)

Compensation: the weighted average mark should be at least 6.0 (rounded at one decimal).
Resit: one resit per insufficient mark.

(The exams and assignments may be written in Dutch.)


Blackboard will be used for course information and documents, announcements, weekly readings and assignments.


  • E. Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture. London / New York: Routledge, 2000.

  • Other literature: to be announced.


Via uSis.

Registration Studeren à la Carte and Contractonderwijs

Sign up for à la Carte via: www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/alacarte/
Sign up for Contractonderwijs (contract-based education) via: www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/contractonderwijs/


Mw Dr. M.E.W. (Marion) Boers
Drs. G.J. (Gerhard Jan) Nauta