'A whole new world': the young person's experience of visiting Sydney Technological Museum

Megan Hicks


Histories of museums often neglect the viewpoint of visitors, concentrating instead on the protagonists in power relations that have shaped the organization. Moreover, few studies have been made of people’s experiences of visits made before the 1980s, which is when the field of visitor evaluation emerged. In response to the lack of visitor perceptions on record, a study was undertaken into the long-term memories of people who had visited the Technological Museum in Sydney as children or teenagers between 1935 and 1969. In-depth interviews about early visits were conducted with twelve people and their reminiscences analyzed using a phenomenological approach. As a result of this process, three themes emerged that characterized the young person’s experience of the museum: City Life, Adulthood, and Independent Discovery. Linking these three themes was the fundamental experience of Growing Up.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Megan Hicks

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360