Museoscope was the blog run by Dr. Elee Kirk, who held a PhD in museum studies from the University of Leicester. Her research was into children’s experiences of natural history museums.. Prior to that, she worked for eight years in science museum education in Birmingham and Leeds.
Elee passed away in the summer of 2016, and these pages are still maintained by her partner, Will Buckingham. Elee’s book, Snapshots of Museum Experience was published posthumously by Routledge in the summer of 2018.
What is a ‘Museoscope’?
Things with ‘scope’ at the end of their name are all about looking, exploring and understanding. These things use arrangements of lenses or mirrors to help us see things we wouldn’t otherwise see. Microscopes are for looking at tiny things, telescopes for looking at far away things.
Things with ‘scope’ at the end of their name can also be optical toys that allow us to play with the ways that we see the world. Kaleidoscopes use toblerone-like tubes of mirrors to create patterns from coloured fragments of glass, phenakistoscopes use spinning wheels and mirrors to animate still pictures.
So a Museoscope is something we use for exploring, playing, and trying to understand. But what is especially fun, is it can be both a thing (lens?) that allows us to look at museums; and also the museum itself (mirror?), that allows us to look back at the world.