About

Project background

In November 2007 the Geffrye Museum was awarded a small grant by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) to explore the feasibility of developing a new subject specialist network (SSN). This support enabled the Geffrye Museum to undertake a wide-ranging consultation process in March 2008 which involved museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries, archives, specialist groups, HE institutions and research centres across the UK. The very positive level of support expressed by over 70 institutions and a number of independent researchers made the Geffrye confident in taking the project forward, and in May 2008 the Histories of Home SSN was launched.

SSN Mission

To establish a Network that deepens understanding of the home by sharing expertise and skills, promoting good practice, disseminating information and developing collaborative projects in order to inspire new ideas and stimulate innovative use of collections by professionals and the public alike.

SSN Vision

Histories of Home is a dynamic network of practitioners and scholars and a gateway to research on the home inside and out, including gardens, which inspires fresh understandings of identity, meanings and values as expressed through domestic space and home-making practices.

SSN Aims

1. To promote the exchange of information, ideas and resources on all aspects of the study of the home through a variety of channels, including a dedicated website.

2) To foster an interdisciplinary and multi-sector approach to the study of the home and disseminate research on home-related topics.

3) To map collections and expertise related to homes and gardens and to inform approaches to collecting and documenting of collections.

4) To offer a range of events and training programmed to specialists in home-related fields in order to provide meeting opportunities and to promote best practice.

5) To raise the profile of the study of home as an academic subject by expanding the discourse around home and home-making.

Cross-disciplinary dialogue

Histories of Home exists to facilitate exchanges and to open up dialogue. This approach is informed by a multiplicity of possible avenues into thinking about the home, where the concept of home (including gardens) is taken in a broad sense to include not only the physical spaces and material objects of the dwelling but also ideas, dynamics and experiences of home within and beyond the domestic sphere. The following list is intended to highlight the range of approaches/fields that explore these issues and we welcome scholars and practitioners from any and all of these fields to participate in the SSN:

design history, geography, literary studies, architecture, gender studies, anthropology, microeconomics, psychology, garden history, sociology, folklore, history, art history, cultural studies, decorative arts, politics, social history, material culture studies, colonial and postcolonial studies, archaeology, contemporary art, environmental studies, urban planning

Contact us

For further information on any aspect of the SSN please email historiesofhomessn@geffrye-museum.org.uk or telephone 020 7739 9893 and ask to speak to Eleanor John, Head of Collections and Exhibitions, who leads the network.

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