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Volume 10

Museums and Collections

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The Witness as Object

Video Testimony in Memorial Museums

Steffi de Jong

314 pages, 16 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-643-0 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Not Yet Published (January 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-644-7 eBook Not Yet Published

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“This is an impressive and often powerfully written book. It offers an insightful analysis and an accessible point of entry into key debates around the function of testimony and the differences between communicative and cultural memory.” · Andrea Witcomb, Deakin University

“This excellent volume makes an original and timely contribution to the study of museums on the one hand, and to contemporary reflections on mediated witnessing on the other.” · Tamar Katriel, University of Haifa

In recent years, historical witnessing has emerged as a category of “museum object” in the form of audiovisual recordings of interviews with individuals remembering events of historical importance. Such testimonies are now not only are part of the collections and research activities of museums, but they have become important components in narrative and exhibit design strategies. With a focus on Holocaust museums, this study scrutinizes for the first time the new global phenomenon of the “musealisation” of testimony, exploring the processes, prerequisites, and consequences of the transformation of video testimonies into exhibits.

Steffi de Jong is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Contemporary History at the University of Cologne.

Subject: Museum Studies 20th Century History Media Studies

BISAC: ART059000 ART/Museum Studies; HIS043000 HISTORY/Holocaust; SOC052000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Media Studies

BIC: GM Museology & heritage studies; HBTZ1 The Holocaust




Chapter 1. The Witness to History: Conceptual Clarifications
Chapter 2. Genealogy: The Witness to History as a Carrier of Memory
Chapter 3. Collecting: Turning Communicative Memory into Cultural Memory
Chapter 4. Exhibiting: The Witness to History as a Museum Object
Chapter 5. Communicating: Witnesses to History as Didactic Means



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