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имени первого Президента России Б.Н.Ельцина

Small Town Museum: Multiple Cultures of Memory (Historical and Sociological Analysis)

Supported by Russian Science Foundation, grant No 21-18-00418

About project
The project aimes to examine the museum of a small town as a potential hub of memory cultures and an element of the memorative landscape. A small town museum works to articulate local identity, promoting (or hindering) the interaction of different cultures of memory (historical, cultural, documentary; social, generational, etc.). Realizing many functions, the museum of a small town, on the one hand, can become a point of attraction and generating of innovative activity, imparting a new quality to the urban environment. On the other hand, there are a number of problems in the development of provincial museums, the central of which is the search for sources of funding, which means "survival", which is very important in the context of underfunding of the cultural sphere of small towns. Museums of small towns are included at the same time, in the national and even the world general museum context, and at the same time are part of the urban infrastructure (along with leisure, educational and other institutions). This whole complex of tasks - from studying the history of creation, the place and role of museums in the socio-cultural space of a small town to the prospects and conditions for their further existence and development - are planned to be considered within the framework of the declared project.
The implementation of the project's objectives is based on an integrated interdisciplinary strategy that includes the historical and sociological areas of research. Historical analysis is aimed at studying the prerequisites and conditions for the emergence of public / folk museums in the province, their evolution during the late 19th - early 21st centuries, development factors, including political, sociocultural, economic, development of the periodization of the formation of museums in small towns and the historical characteristics of individual stages. Sociological analysis is aimed at characterizing the museum from the point of view of the plurality of memory cultures on the scale of a small town. As a part of the project, it is planned to conduct a complex sociological study with a multi-stage sampling, a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods for collecting and analyzing information. The project is designed to study the museums of small towns in Russia in all their typological, functional, technological, and geographical diversity. At the same time, the focus of empirical research is the Ural region, which embodies the specifics of the regions of "new" development, the settlement of which begins in the XV-XVIII centuries (Ural, Siberia, Russian North), with their special historical potential, which differs from the potential of settlements in the historical center of Russia. The data obtained will make it possible in the future to compare the features of the formation of the memorative landscape of historical small towns in the center of Russia and the colonized territories of the North, Urals, Siberia and the south of Russia.
Thus, the project is based on a complex study of the phenomenon of a small town museum in the aggregate of conceptual sociological and historical aspects of the formation of a memorative landscape of small towns with an emphasis on the role of local museums in this process. The project is characterized not only by scientific novelty associated with the use of the ideas of the memorative landscape and the plurality of memory cultures, but also by its practical significance. The research program involves studying the activity of museums in a small town, generalizing their experience in the form of a specialized Internet resource, which can be used to develop practical recommendations for museums in different cities and local authorities.

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