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Environmental history beyond the ivory tower: Museums, global history and sustainability

Dr Libby Robin, National Museum of Australia, 29 October 2008

MATTHEW HIGGINS: Good afternoon, my name is Matthew Higgins and I am a senior curator here at the National Museum of Australia. It gives me great pleasure to be introducing not only a colleague but a friend, Dr Libby Robin, who is a senior research fellow at our Centre for Historical Research and a senior fellow at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University [ANU]. But Libby has been known to the Museum for a lot longer than that, because she was part of the curatorial team that helped to put together Tangled Destinies, our people and the environment gallery, which these days is known as Old New Land. Most of Old New Land has reopened following construction work upstairs.

Libby is very well known as a prolific author in both the academic and general readership areas. Her most recent book How a Continent Created a Nation won the New South Wales Premier’s History Award for Australian History in 2007. We are very fortunate to have her speaking today on the subject of ‘Environmental history beyond the ivory tower: Museums, global history and sustainability’. Thanks, Libby.

LIBBY ROBIN: Matthew is already doing this environmental history beyond the ivory tower because he is the senior curator in charge of the environmental history galleries here. This talk will consider some of the applications of the emerging discipline of environmental history beyond academic journals and university courses. The reason I am doing it in this place is that we have a combination of people who are doing doctoral courses in environmental history and people who are really doing it here and also I notice with great delight some people from other parts of the Museum. Thank you for coming too.

I am trying to look at how environmental history is being used in places other than in academic journals and the literature which we have been talking about all week in our workshop up at the ANU. The Environmental History PhD Workshop is partly sponsored by the National Museum of Australia, and I would like to thank the Centre for Historical Research and in particular Peter Stanley for that sponsorship.

To give you a quick outline of the talk, I am going to talk about history and museums in Australia and New Zealand. If you know more about New Zealand than I do, I would be very grateful because I am going there soon and I would be glad to get feedback. I want to talk about the evolution of environmental history as a defining force at the National Museum of Australia. The other two subjects I will touch on fairly briefly at the end are, first, environmental history and the search for sustainability, and finally why stories of the South matter globally.

When I think about the emergence of environmental history in museums, I find myself tracing its prehistory - it is probably working with Mike Smith that does this. Museums and their critics have had changing ideas about what is a legitimate object for display, and ultimately what a museum is for. I am going to start with an historical review of how museum fashions have shifted in Australia and New Zealand since the first museums were established in the nineteenth century in both places. I am not discussing virtual museums, props or design features that are sometimes part of exhibitions, but rather the real objects that are chosen - particularly for bigger museums – and the stories they tell of science, of nation or of society.

In the nineteenth century, museums took their lead from the British and wider European traditions of that time. They focused on displaying natural history and ordering it according to taxonomic and other scientific principles. Even today, in most regional museums you can find information about the geology, zoology and, to a lesser extent, botany of the region and sometimes of the wider world. Museums function to situate knowledge about the biology and geology of place, or its region, in an international context. They introduce local people to the global context, and outsiders to the truly local.

Historically, larger museums focused on animals, particularly large and impressive specimens, sometimes in a habitat created by a diorama but more often in a cabinet of similar animals - primates together, big cats together, et cetera. Rocks and minerals were also ordered as crystals or gems in a sort of taxonomic display, attractively laid out. Plants often weren’t there because herbaria and botanical gardens historically functioned as a separate realm. They came through a tradition based on Physick gardens, specialising in plants grown for medicinal purposes. Colonial botanic gardens were early European signatures in many ports, and they quickly became centres of network and exchange, not just to help sailors suffering scurvy and tropical diseases but also to grow plants for a pharmacopoeia at home in the metropolis.

I am going to go through some of these ways of doing things.

History and Museums in Australia

Most of the nineteenth century museums in Australia are about the ‘continent of curiosities’. The AIA is the Australian Institute of Anatomy, which people in the Museum will be familiar with. It is an historic museum that I will talk more about later.

We have colonies [shows map of Australia]. We call them states now but in the nineteenth century they were colonies and we have a capital in each of them. The only city that is on that map that shouldn’t be there is Launceston. That is because the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery was one of the major nineteenth century museums. They had a great curator there, Ronald Gunn, whose collection became the beginning of that museum as early as 1891.

This table shows the museums in Australia in the nineteenth century.

Major 19th century Australian Museums

You can see in the ‘Purpose’ column that natural history was overwhelmingly the purpose of all of them. Geology was also significant in Victoria because it opened around the time of the gold rushes. I am not going to through all of those museums. You get a sense that the colonial government is the force behind each museum and is using the museum as a way to project what the colony is about in a natural history sense.

In the uniquely post-Linnaean settlements of Australia and New Zealand, discovered after the Swede [Carl] Linnaeus had discovered the order of nature that became the canon of western taxonomy, curators focused on collecting curious animals that did not fit the pre-ordained categories. Geological specimens were also important because of money. Generally kangaroos, emus, and large avian and marsupial fauna filled the Australian museums, and often were displayed alongside the big animals of Africa and Asia that were the signature of serious European museums.

Natural history was the prime reason for a colonial museum, and Australian colonial governments supported that endeavour. In the old world it was complemented by classical antiquity; in the new world technology; and somewhat later cultural artefacts of Indigenous antiquity. Practical technologies associated with measurement and instrumentation for navigating the seas and viewing the skies came with the settlers, while stone tools and hunting weapons, often taxonomically arranged as if they were natural history specimens, represented the older Aboriginal and Maori cultures. That gives me a cue to talk a little about New Zealand’s museums.

I am drawing heavily on the 1934 report by SF Markham and WRB Oliver. [FN 1] Markham did a report here in Australia with HC Richards in 1933. He was going around all the different colonies and comparing them with each other. He went to South Africa, Canada and various places in the West Indies.

New Zealand, in proportion to population, ranked higher than any other British dominion or colony from the museum and art gallery point of view. ‘How many square feet of museum did you have per population’ was the sort of way the report is written. The interesting thing is that in Australia each colony was competing with the other colonies to have an identity; whereas in New Zealand each city or town was competing with other cities and not so much colonies. It was not the government but rather thousands of enlightened and public-spirited citizens who pulled together with a delightful sense of teamwork to make their particular town excel.

New Zeland Museums established before 1877

This table shows the museums established in New Zealand before 1877. Before 1877 Auckland, Christchurch, Nelson and Dunedin had museums, and Wellington had something but it is very ambiguous as to whether it was anything until the 1933 Dominion Museum and Art Gallery. It sounds like there were a series of failed efforts, but I haven’t quite got to the bottom of that little mystery. [shows map] For those of you who don’t know New Zealand, those are the places that I am going to discuss: a lot of them are in the North Island, with Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill in the South Island.

In the 1934 report Markham and Oliver identified the Maori Pa at Rotorua as the first open air museum in either Australia or New Zealand. By way of comparison, Skansen, Stockholm’s outdoor museum-zoo, opened in 1891. The Maori Pa was later than that. Maori Pas or meeting houses also featured inside museums in Auckland, Otago and Canterbury. Typically the Maori and Aboriginal materials started after 1901, not earlier.

After two world wars, especially the second when the Western world used science to test the very limits of the possible in the atomic age, museums emerged with a different agenda. As Marion Halligan put it: ‘A good museum is like a good novel; it brings together objects to prompt the question “how shall we live”’. You have to weigh each of those words separately - how shall we live. No longer was the focus on endangered and extinct animals and cultures, but rather the social objects of the dominant culture became the increasing focus of museum collections. Perhaps growing out of earlier local traditions of pioneer and old settler museums or, like Skansen, celebrations of disappearing rural traditions, social history objects increasingly came from the kitchens and sitting rooms of rural towns and modern suburbia. These objects were designed to trigger ‘I remember those’ responses in older adults and offered something for intergenerational conversation between family groups. Objects that traced the ways ‘we’ rather than ‘they’ actually lived shifted the moral imperatives of the narratives.

Some objects express the specifics of a national place and its relations with other places. Hills hoist clothes lines and Victa lawn mowers were the signatures of 1950s Australian suburbia, along with designer kitchens and clothing. In New Zealand, and also in Australia, the maintenance of connections with friends and relations in Britain, Europe and other parts of the world was often carried out by letter. Postcard collections are a recurrent feature of museum displays, underscoring isolation from the metropolitan showing, for instance, pictures of the marvellous geysers of Rotorua, the rugged mountains of the South Island, especially Mount Cook and the glaciers of Fiordland, emphasised New Zealand’s differences from Britain, even though New Zealanders assiduously perpetuated the connections in person as well. They talk about OE, overseas experience. In the old days they braved the long journey by ship, and the crockery sets and other memorabilia from ships found their way into museum collections as well.

I am not going to discuss further the displays or the museology - for example, the use of cabinets or dioramas or the emergence of what Paul Eggert calls the 1970s shift ‘towards incorporating the visitor-viewer into the dynamics of display’. If you want to know more about that, have a look at the latest edition of reCollections online. [FN 2] It’s a very good article. Rather today I am going to concentrate on the narratives of museum change: which stories get told, which stories get left out, and why?

So we get to the twentieth century, and I have chosen in the Australian context to look at the national museums. What makes them national? They are very different in the twentieth century from the nineteenth: the anatomy teaching collection of the Australian Institute of Anatomy; the war history and later art from the Australian War Memorial; the Australian National Botanic Gardens, which was a herbarium and was the first botanic gardens for Australian endemic plants not stuff exchanged, which was the classic colonial botanic gardens. I have put Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery there not only because it was set up by the Commonwealth government but also it represents the north of Australia in a way that I think we don’t have in other museums to that extent.

You can see that the National Museum of Australia is quite late, and I am going to talk about more about that. The National Museum of Australia Act was enacted in 1980 and the Museum opened in 2001. Life didn’t stop with the National Museum of Australia, we have this big Australian Garden open at Cranbourne in Victoria, which is part of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne. The original gardens started in the mid-nineteenth century but the Australian Garden was opened in 2006. They have just done the botanic gardens nationally if you like.

New Zealand - 20th Century

With New Zealand museums in the 20th century we continue with the smaller pioneer settler model. We had five museums before 1877 and by 1934 we have ten more [Invercargill, Wanganui, Napier, Hokitika, Timaru, Whangarei, New Plymouth, Masterton, Titirangi and Taihape] that are all in little places. The last two, Titirangi and Taihape, have populations of less than 2000 people, and Markham and Oliver don’t think that is enough for a museum.

The earthquake in 1931 completely wrecked the museum in Hastings and partially wrecked the one in Napier but it was still functioning in 1934 so I assume that they managed to rescue some of it. In Palmerston North they had a museum and it was defunct. There was one proposed for Hamilton. I have to find out what is happening with those. It’s a very different checkered story in New Zealand that is much more difficult to make big picture statements from. The significant one in 1996 is Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand, which is in Wellington. It was very much used as a model for what we should do for the National Museum of Australia here.

What should be in a national museum? In the 1970s the gap between natural and social history in museums became itself the problem. In the first big review of Australian museums and collections since Markham and Richards review of 1933, Peter Piggott was asked to chair a Committee of Inquiry on Museums and National Collections on 10 April 1974. Its primary task was:

To advise of the scope, objectives and functions of … collections, research and displays of historical, cultural and scientific material of cultural significance …

The scope of this far-reaching inquiry was shaped by other reformist ventures of the Whitlam government and parallel developments in history, heritage and Aboriginal studies, especially the idea of a national ‘estate’ or things to be owned by the nation. The Australian Heritage Commission was established just as the Piggott committee was undertaking its inquiry, so the Piggott committee had to distinguish between ‘cultural property’ - that is, collections - and the ‘national estate’ which was actually places (although there was a sense that collections were also part of that national estate).

In the era of the Piggott committee inquiry, Aboriginal people were no longer ‘scientific subjects’ but rather ‘subjective voices’. The stone tool collections of earlier eras were no longer understood as taxonomic assemblages, but rather as cultural artefacts. Aborigines were no longer science; they had a social history, and increasing control over telling it.

Local and living history museums were also on the rise in Australia, and obviously had been going longer in New Zealand, and this was another issue tackled by the committee. Questions of what was local and what was of national significance intertwined. The ‘collections in natural science’ aroused particular division within the committee. Some saw them as part of the national heritage, and others as crucial to scientific research and therefore in need of protection from public display. A strong minority view recommended that the natural history collections be managed through an ‘Interim Council of the Australian Biological Resources Study’, rather than placed in a national museum that might ‘provide a threat to the efficient conduct of our kind of scientific research’.

Finally, five years later in 1980, the National Museum of Australia Act was passed, enabling a museum that would ‘develop and maintain a national collection of historical material’. The Museum’s research focus was to be on ‘matters pertaining to Australian history’. This was a bland simplification of the Piggott committee’s recommendations. This is what they actually said:

The theme of the Museum [should] be the history of man and nature in this continent, their linked roles and their interactions. We suggest that to divorce man from nature in the new museum would be to perpetuate a schism which the nineteenth century, in the interests of science, did much to foster.

In the years leading up to March 2001 when the Museum actually opened, these words in the Piggott report returned to shape the agenda. The National Museum was to be a history museum; the science collections went to science. It would also include a Gallery of First Australians, and a gallery that sought to overcome the schism between humanity and the natural world that had been so much the feature of the older style museums. It was also a point about making it different from the colonial museums. This was where the environmental history gallery would fit, the place where land and people were displayed together as a story of interdependence - not natural, not social, but a new amalgam, environmental history.

Since opening in 2001, lest you think that the National Museum is not doing great new things, we had a new commitment to research with the Centre for Historical Research at the National Museum of Australia being established in 2007. Some of us are environmental historians there and some of us are other sorts.

The two cultures in museums correspond to the nineteenth century natural history museums and the 1970s and 1980s social history museums, separated along the lines made famous by CP Snow’s Reade lectures in 1959 but also separated by the era of origin of the museum.

The collections that came to the National Museum were, of course, what you had to work with. There were no collections before 1980, but this museum inherited the collections of the Australian Institute of Anatomy. Sir Colin MacKenzie, its first director, had collected these amazing objects in bottles, which I won’t dwell on now. You can see a social history museum has a bit of a problem with objects in bottles. It’s a little problem, so they came to the environmental history gallery to sort it out.

The themes were land, nation and people. It was an effort to try to make the galleries about all of those. It was conversations between Aboriginal and settler people, and conversations between land and nation in all of the galleries. But the curators generally speaking were historians, although we did have archaeologists, anthropologists and geographers amongst our team. I have just been in Denmark where I was very conscious that most of the curators in the Danish national museum are archaeologists. They did not know what to do with an historian there so they put me in the natural sciences unit. I have suddenly become conscious of where people are coming from.

For people who are new to the subject, ‘environmental history’ is the study of the interactions between people and nature in the past, and how they have changed with time. It treats nature as an actor in history; it is not the background to history but rather one of the subjects of history. By ‘nature’ I mean non-human nature - you could argue with me about that. Environmental history is an interdisciplinary endeavour that draws on all those disciplines - archaeology, geography, history and a range of sciences. It is sometimes, but not always, stimulated by a concern about current environmental problems.

This was the gallery [shows image] originally called Tangled Destinies and renamed Old New Land in 2006. I think this was the first environmental history gallery in Australia and it certainly was one of the first in the world. There have been a lot since. It is quite interesting where you have people, land and nature together.

The approach we took - led by our senior curator Mike Smith who I think everybody here knows because he came and talked to us yesterday up at the ANU - a ‘history of ideas’ approach. We had a loose chronological logic to the three sections: natures of isolation was roughly eighteenth century; living with the land was roughly nineteenth century; and understanding Australia roughly twentieth century, although in each of those galleries you found things from other times so that was not hard and fast. The single line is that you arrive from somewhere else and find things strange; you make a livelihood; and you come to scientific and other sorts of understandings in the twentieth century when you have been living in a place for some time as you settle into it. Obviously there is a counter-narrative of Aboriginal people who have had the knowledge all along as well as other things. I am keeping it pretty simple here.

This is a few of the objects [shows image]. The first object you met when you came in, which you still meet a version of, is the nest and eggs laid by a warm-blooded animal. It is still strange today. Even for people who have lived in Australia for many generations, it is weird to think of a platypus laying eggs. It was one of the lovely things that came out of that early collection from the Australian Institute of Anatomy. I will be fairly brief on these images. It is just to show you how the body parts in bottles finally found their way into a gallery and became part of the natures of isolation.

Sir Colin MacKenzie and his specimens in the 'Natures of Isolatiom' gallery (2003)

Specimens belonging to Sir Colin MacKenzie on display in the gallery in 2003

The second group was living with the land: fire which was a great technology for being intercultural; technologies such as the buffalo catcher; wool, wheat and cattle industries are all represented in different ways; and cities were there too. Of course, the 2003 fires in Canberra are quite a significant part of the gallery now, but they hadn’t burnt at the time when the gallery first opened.

The understanding Australia gallery is where the history of ideas comes to the forefront most strongly: the idea of Gondwana; the idea of climate change not just as new political movement but climate change over the drying out of the dead heart of Australia; environmental politics; and a sense of place. At the bottom the picture shows the lexicon of Australia, the Aboriginal words and the ways Australians words mean different things. Jay Arthur is not here today but we drew heavily on her work. A river doesn’t have to flow all the time to be a river in Australia. In fact, it might not have any water in a river in Australia. That sort of thing is featured in those panels. [shows image] In 2003 there was a lovely gallery at the Western Australian Museum called ‘Country: Visions of land and people in Western Australia’. Mathew Trinca [General Manager of the Collections and Content Division at the Museum] was part of the team that then edited a terrific book. [FN 3] But it is a little alarming if you look at the Western Australian Museum website today because it seems to be all about dinosaurs. It is not at all what it looked like when I was there. It seems like they have gone for even deeper time than our Diprotodon.

I also want to talk about environmental history in other museums. This is a very interesting museum, Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet, the Fishery and Maritime museum at Esbjerg on the western coast of Denmark [shows image]. Esbjerg is the place where they developed seine nets for fishing which actually came to the New South Wales fisheries in 1931 and had completely fished them out by two or three years ago. The same problem happened there: the North Sea fisheries collapsed. This is a really big town built on not just fisheries but also boat building and net making. They exported nets all over the world, and suddenly the whole town didn’t have an industry because there were no fish left. So they have a museum instead, a maritime environmental history of fisheries collapse and then social consequences. It is quite political; it is quite overt and very well done. They have a beach section outside because, like a lot of Scandinavian museums, it’s an inside and outside museum. The longline tuna fishing nets are featured in the museum too. There is quite a bit of overt politics there.

That leads me on to environmental history and the search for sustainability. Because the issues of sustainability are in places other than museums, I thought I should talk briefly about some of those, particularly the first ever World Congress of Environmental History which is going to be in Copenhagen next year. Second, the History and Sustainability Initiative I am working on with some people in the UK and elsewhere. Third, the Integrated History and People On Earth project [IHOPE], which is part of the new Australian National University Climate Change Institute which is being launched by the vice-chancellor right now, which is why none of my department has been able to come. IHOPE is going to be one of the projects of that new institute.

I think some people here will be coming to this World Congress of Environmental History in Copenhagen. It will be a very interesting opportunity for people who are writing environmental history in different countries to meet each other. Environmental history isn’t the same animal in different countries. In America it is very much motivated by ideas of wilderness and ideas of frontier history meeting each other in the 1970s and has remained pretty much with history departments.

In Australia and New Zealand a lot of people who do environmental history would define themselves primarily as scientists. Increasingly, there are people who are interdisciplinary who are trained originally in science and are coming into environmental history. Europeans have a bit of both and maybe a slightly different take on each. It will be interesting. I hope we get some people from Africa, India and China where environmental history means very different things again with a lot bigger social justice agendas in those places. I am hoping we will get a good mixture of people. Since I have read 177 abstracts, I can tell you there will be some interesting things coming to it. I think there are going to be 600 presenters. It’s a huge thing. The difficulty is going to be getting the people together.

History and sustainability

The History and Sustainability Initiative is a completely different initiative. It came from the education department of the UK which deals with higher education, secondary education and primary education all together. They are looking for a theme that crosscuts all the sectors of education and they have come up with sustainability. Because they are in Britain they think history should be teaching this, which is interesting because the British tend to turn to their humanities for these sorts of initiatives. We have a very interdisciplinary group working on this initiative with a number of Scandinavians. I am from Australia and there is a group from Harvard I haven’t met but who apparently are also working in this. They asked to me to speak at a conference, and I thought what I am going to talk about that can appeal to all those levels of education. This is what I came up with - I went to a musician, Brian Eno, who talks about the idea of ‘The Big Here and the Long Now: the globalisation and the human imagination’. How do you imagine the whole world as your place? This is Brian Eno:

Now is never just a moment. The Long Now is the recognition that the precise moment you’re in grows out of the past and is a seed for the future. The longer your sense of Now, the more past and future it includes.

The idea of stretching the now I think makes a very political role for history.

I want to talk for the last bit about why stories of the South matter globally. I am being a bit naughty here because I am talking about Australia and we are not usually classified as a ‘South’ nation in the sense that people don’t seem to worry about geography; it is all about economics. [shows image] I have Aboriginal Australians and fire because I think they speak very strongly to this Integrated History and Future of People on Earth project which began in Dahlem, Germany in 2005 and produced a publication Sustainability or Collapse: An Integrated History and Future of People on Earth. They are interested in the history of societies that are sustainable and societies that have collapsed. Most of the stuff they had written about in this period were the ones that had collapsed. Jared Diamond [FN 4] was obviously very influential on the thinking of the group, and the original group didn’t have any historians involved. They call themselves ‘global change bureaucrats’. They worked for the United Nations and were trying to look at justice but historically. Because it began with a group from North America and a group from Europe, the big story that it worked with was the idea that the Ice Age came and, when the ice melted, the people moved in. That is the big story. Whether you are in North America or in Europe that is the big story.

But of course, as Mike Smith’s work shows, we had people living here throughout the Ice Age and we didn’t have glaciation in the Ice Age, which would have improved our top soil. We have a completely different story because we don’t have glaciation in the Ice Age, we have people living through that period. That is why you can’t talk about global history and say ‘The ice melted and people moved in’ is the global story, which was the way it was being pictured before the Australian contribution. It is now not being pictured that way. There are obviously other stories from other places, and the sustainable living in the land through climate change is a big story for these people.

There is the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden. I think ‘resilience’ is going to be the new word - Brian Walker was here talking about this a month ago - rather than sustainability. The interesting thing about resilience is that it requires ecosystems that are not efficient. Under resilience you look for duplication rather than maximisation of output. There is a whole lot of very interesting philosophical thinking going behind this so-called history project. I think it is quite fun that environmental history gives us as a museum a way to engage with this work and gives environmental historians another platform to consider their work.

I will finish with these concluding remarks. If David Lowenthal and Donald Worster are right, environmental history has the potential to close the gap between the humanities and the sciences, the environmental sciences in particular. Worster has referred to the process as the search for common ground, of finding:

open doorways through the walls of specialisation that divide us ... So we are opening a door in the wall that separates nature from culture, science from history, matter from mind. Where we are arriving is not at some point where all academic boundaries and distinctions disappear … but one where those boundaries are more permeable than before.

Jane Carruthers, the South African historian, used this quote in a recent talk in South Africa about the state of the discipline, but it applies even more sharply to museums, where environmental history is called on to play what Sverker Sörlin and Paul Warde call a ‘translatory role between disciplines’. Jane Carruthers commented on ‘the excitement of that common ground, the thrill of finding the connections, the challenge of the synthesis’. Museums, heritage, environmental protection, education, climate change and globalisation are all seeking a craft of synthesis - a conversation between human and non-human nature, with a deep time depth. The pressure is on environmental historians to be flexible and inclusive and offer its insights in many ways. Thank you.

Further reading [shown on slide]

Libby Robin, ‘Collections and the nation: science, history and the National Museum of Australia’, Historical Records of Australian Science, 14(3), June 2003, pp 251-289.

Libby Robin and Tom Griffiths, ‘Environmental history in Australasia’, Environment and History, 10(4), 2004, pp 439-474.

Libby Robin, ‘The big here and the long now’, presentation to the History and Sustainability workshop (2007)

Libby Robin and Will Steffen, ‘History for the Anthropocene’, History Compass, 5(5), 2007, pp 1694-1719.

Contact libby.robin@anu.edu.au for PDFs of her journal articles.

Footnotes

1 Markham, SF and Oliver, WRB, A Report on the Museums and Art Galleries of New Zealand, 1934.

2 Eggert, Paul, ‘Witnessing social history: The artefact, the visitor and the new museology’, reCollections, 3(2), 2008

3 Gaynor, Andrea, Haebich, Anna and Trinca, Mathew (eds), Country: Visions of land and people in Western Australia, Western Australian Museum, 2003.

4 Books by Jared Diamond include: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, WW Norton & Co, 1997; and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Viking Books, New York, 2005.

Date published: 17 March 2009