Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D. Professor of History

Date of Award

12-2015

Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

History, M.A.

Department

History and Social Studies Education Department

Advisor

Cynthia Conides, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Program Coordinator of Museum Studies

Department Home page

http://history.buffalostate.edu/

First Reader

Cynthia Conides, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Program Coordinator of Museum Studies

Second Reader

Sonia Penaranda Gonzalez, M.A., Lecturer of History

Abstract

Drawing from the work of sensory historians, this paper will explore the importance of the senses in understanding one’s surroundings and define what qualifies as sensory experience in a museum setting. Through a combination of research and observations during museum visits, it explores examples of how each sense has been incorporated into museums and exhibits. It presents examples of immersive and interactive exhibits providing multi-sensory experiences, including examples of both effective and non-effective ways in which these elements have been used. It is the author’s premise that the museum should remain artifact-centered, and sensory elements should be used to supplement, not replace, collections. Any sensory or interactive element used should provide context for the objects. However, it is desirable for museums to utilize whatever elements possible, including replicas, to try and recreate the sensations and sensory experiences of the past for visitors.

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