Virtual Special Issue Journal of Museum Education

The Museum Education Roundtable (MER), is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that has served the field of museum education since 1969. MER first published the Journal of Museum Education (JME) in 1973 as Roundtable Reports. These five reports presented outcomes from a series of convenings of museum educators in the Washington D.C. area and was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Recognizing a desire for both a means of sharing research and best practices, as well as the creation of a body of literature for the nascent field of museum education, MER continued to publish Roundtable Reports throughout the 1970s and 80s, eventually changing its name to the Journal of Museum Education in 1985 to better represent the rigor and quality of its content. Over 43 years and 40 volumes, MER has offered this platform for sharing and documenting the measurable value of our work as museum educators. We are thrilled to partner with Routledge and the Taylor & Francis Group in supporting practitioners and expanding the reach of the JME.

As a benefit of MER’s partnership with Routledge and the Taylor & Francis Group, the complete 40 volume archive of JME issues is now available online for subscribers and MER members. For our first Virtual Special Issue we are highlighting the breadth and scope of the JME over the past four decades. We reached out to Museum Studies colleagues at John F. Kennedy University, the University of San Francisco, George Washington University, and Tufts University to see what JME articles they return to again and again, whether on their class syllabi or for their own personal inspiration and growth. Their lists were long so we’ve pared them down to 14 articles we felt presented a glimpse at the variety of voices and topics featured in the JME. As academia emphasizes the most current research and case studies, our colleagues mostly selected articles that were published in the 2000s; we added in a few gems from 1980s and 90s to round things out.

With thanks to Susan Spero (JFK), Marjorie Schwarzer (USF), Carol Stapp (GW), and Cynthia Robinson (Tufts).

Elisabeth Nevins & Lexie Carlson, MER Editorial Team