Contemporary collaborations between museums and universities


  • Line Vestergaard Knudsen Aalborg University
  • Celia Ekelund Simonsen Museum Midtjylland



museum, university, cross-institutional, collaboration, museumaudience, communication, evaluation


Numerous new types of cross-institutional collaborations have been
conducted recently at the intersection between museums and universities. Museums
of all subject areas have collaborated with university researchers, just as scholars
from a broad range of disciplines including communications, media studies, IT
and performance design and tourism increasingly collaborate with museums.
Based on qualitative evaluation material and autobiographical experiences,
this article analyzes a large Danish research project in which collaborations between
several museums and universities took place. We investigate how university
researchers contributed to the development of museum practices as well as
how involvement in museum projects contributed to university research; we then
discuss the various professional and practical challenges such collaborations face.
Particularly we emphasize “anchorage” as a significant multidimensional concept
that was critical to the collaboration outcomes and challenges. By this focus we
aim to contribute to future cross-institutional collaborations between museums
and universities.

Author Biographies

Line Vestergaard Knudsen, Aalborg University

Department of Cultyre and Global Studies

Ph.D. Associate Professor

Celia Ekelund Simonsen, Museum Midtjylland

Ph.D. Curator