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Abstract

In the near future Qatar will be a country of many museums, but already many temporary exhibitions are open to the public. The International Council of Museums defines museums as an institution which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment. The question of whether a sports museum is a place for scientific research has already been raised. The on-going discussion is about how to accomplish this. As a contribution, this article aims to examine the practical use of research in museums based on the "Arab Games Exhibition" (AGE), which was developed by the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum in Doha, Qatar in 2011. The AGE showcased the history of these Games from their first edition until its last. Lacking a comprehensive body of reliable secondary literature and information on the whereabouts of possible artifacts, it was necessary to develop an extensive research project to find written and oral sources, and then objects to exhibit. Thus, the whole exhibition concept was based on the findings of the developed research. The primary sources used in the research were the documents displayed in the exhibition, which reinforces the idea that the museum collections function as a primary source for research. The sports museum's collections are usually sport artifacts and memorabilia preserved to document the phenomenon. Therefore, research sources and collections are interconnected. In addition to the scarce written sources, the memories of athletes were recorded. These interviews were presented audio-visually for the exhibition, 'giving a voice' to the athletes and explored the appeal of audio-visual exhibits to the public. Naturally, these interviews have become part of the museum collection, being preserved for future exhibitions and research. The example of the AGE illustrates the uses of research in museums. The museum collections can be considered as 'archives' of sources for socio-cultural studies. Furthermore, the exhibitions and the educational programs can be considered the 'space' where the knowledge developed through research is reinterpreted to showcase the complexity of the sport phenomenon to the public.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHP33
2012-10-01
2019-04-24
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHP33
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