Time to look forward

August 27, 2004

Your report on the Manchester Museum seems to suggest that the choice for university museums lies between intellectual dinosaurs and the new public management ("The culling of the dinosaurs", August 20).

God forbid. The inability of the Manchester Museum to see beyond that stale dichotomy proved expensive, but we have a chance to move on. The future should lie with intellectual leadership and collegiality, with role flexibility, and with strong connections and easy movement between museums and related departments. In such ways, university museums may be better workplaces and public showplaces for staff and students; and they may help restore to the museum sector some of the expertise and intellectual creativity that has been lost of late.

John V. Pickstone
Manchester University

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