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European Commission European Research Area & Seventh Framework Programme. Funded under Socio-economic Sciences & Humanities

The project is now closed and we invite you to take part of our findings

European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen

Welcome to the homepage of Eunamus, a three-year research project funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission. Three years of research, January 2010 - January 2013, have proved that national museums do more than collect, preserve and display nations' most cherished objects. National museums balance the stability of the old with the disruption of the new. National museums can provide an institutionalized arena for negotiating new understandings of the nature of political community. The very manner in which unity and difference, threats and hopes are negotiated prepares the nation
for both stability and change.

Eunamus summary policy report:

National Museums Making History in a Diverse Europe

Bringing together key points from three years of research in short, clear texts and compelling photos, the report covers the role of museums as a stabilizing force for the changing nation, the varied ways museums perform this role, their use of exhibition and narrative strategies, the way their histories are dependent on local political conditions, and the resultant silences that deny a complete or complex history. It includes a substantive discussion of the ways in which European national museums deal with conflict, promoting partisan division, obscurantist ignorance, or future-oriented reconciliation. Click here to access.

Eunamus findings in depth:

This pamphlet presents Eunamus nine open access reports which all could be downloaded from our lists of publications.

Eunamus findings at a glance:

Striking a Balance: How national museums can contribute to a socially cohesive Europe

This policy brief summarizes the findings of three years of research, gives away research parameters, includes a list of publications as well as recommendations for policy makers. Click here to access.

Crossing Borders: How National Museums Define and Connect Europeans

Eunamus juxtaposition of the project’s extensive audience survey and its analysis of the richness and diversity in national museums suggests that national museum’s potential to foster cohesion across borders and within nations being under-exploited. Click here to read the brief in its entirety.

Agents of Change: How National Museums Shape European Identity

The consortium’s preliminary findings support the notion that European policymakers should be doing more to recognize national museums as agents of social change. Click here to read policy implications of EUNAMUS comparision of the development of museums in 37 European countries.


Click here to read Eunamus NEWSLETTER #5 NOVEMBER 2012

Read more about the project on the blog Unfolding Eunamus.


Introductions to Eunamus by Simon Knell, Kristin Kuutma, Tony Bennett and Stefan Berger. Please click on the videosymbol to watch.

The electronic journal StoricaMente has published videos of some of the keynote speeches at the conference Building National Museums in Europe 1750-2010, at the University of Bologna 2011. Please click here to watch.

Project coordinator Peter Aronsson introduces Eunamus (in Swedish only)




Interview with Eunamus coordinator Peter Aronsson in Pan European Networks: Government 01

Museums and national identity on Swedish radio


Knell Aronsson Amundsen


National Museums: New Studies from Around the World

Edited by Simon Knell, Peter Aronsson, Arne Amundsen

This book is the outcome of Eunamus and the NaMu program's six international workshops.

From the publishers presentation:

"National Museums is the first book to explore the national museum as a cultural institution in a range of contrasting national contexts. Composed of new studies of countries that rarely make a showing in the English-language studies of museums, this book reveals how these national museums have been used to create a sense of national self, place the nation in the arts, deal with the consequences of political change, remake difficult pasts, and confront those issues of nationalism, ethnicity and multiculturalism which have come to the fore in national politics in recent decades.

National Museums combines research from both leading and new researchers in the fields of history, museum studies, cultural studies, sociology, history of art, media studies, science and technology studies, and anthropology. It is an interrogation of the origins, purpose, organisation, politics, narratives and philosophies of national museums."


Copyright © 2010 eunamus. All material on this site is protected by copyright laws, Use of the contents of this website without the written consent of the rights-holder is prohibited.
LEGAL NOTICE: The views expressed in this presentation are the sole responsibility of the presenter and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the European Commission. Header image: The Schievelbeinfries is reproduced with kind permission of The Neues Museum, Berlin.Web site content: Bodil Axelsson