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The Power of Touch
Handling Objects in Museum and Heritage Contexts
Elizabeth Pye (Editor)
262 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / Feb, 2008
Paperback (978-1-59874-304-3)
Hardback (978-1-59874-303-6)
eBook (978-1-61132-584-3)
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  - University College London Institute of
    Archaeology Publications

Related Interest
  - Archaeology
  - Heritage Management and Heritage Studies
  - Museum Studies & Practice

Despite the fact that we have a range of senses with which to perceive the world around us, museums and other cultural institutions have traditionally used sight as the main way to convey information.
"Offers the reader a range of ways to approach touch in museums and will appeal to museum professionals, students, artists, and groups who campaign for increased access."

- Sense and Society

"... invite[s] a reconsideration of the role of touch within museum contexts, and by implication in the research, understanding, and interaction with objects. … [The case studies in the book] offer not only practical ideas about facilitating access to museum material, but raise the intriguing issue of object handling as a therapeutically beneficial process. … [The book] offer[s] the reader a range of ways to approach the issue of touch in museums, and [this book] will appeal to museum professionals, students, artists, and groups who campaign for increased access."

- Rachel J. Dann, Senses & Society

"Overall, this collection of essays looks at not only the past and present of touch in museums, but also the future as new pathways are discussed through both tactical and virtual developments. As museums tiptoe carefully into a world where fuller access and transparency are the battle cries, The Power of Touch blazes forward into this arena. Though the ideas presented may be polemical, they are all certainly thought- and discussion- provoking and a conscientious reader may find plenty of reasons to change their stance on touch in a museum context."

- Katherine Weikert, Portland Art Museum and Registrars' Quarterly

In everyday life, though, we use touch constantly in conjunction with sight. Why, then, does it play so small a role in the study and enjoyment of museum objects? Contributors to this volume explore how the sense of touch can be utilized in cultural institutions to facilitate understanding and learning.

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