Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).


Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Kiersten F. Latham is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science (LIS) at Kent State University where she has developed and teaches the specialization in museum studies from an LIS perspective. In addition to academic work, she has worked in, on, and about museums in various capacities for over 20 years, serving as a director, educator, researcher, collections manager, curator, volunteer, and consultant. Her research interests convene around the meaning of museum objects—especially with respect to emotion, perception, sensation, and spirituality—and the conceptual foundations of museums as knowledge systems. Presently, she is studying museum user perceptions of ‘the real thing’ in museums and museums as ecological systems. She has done research on numinous experiences with museum objects, imaginative touch (of museum objects) and conceptual ramifications of museum object as document. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Latham runs the MuseLab--a place for thinking, doing and learning about museal things--on the third floor of the library.
Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

  • Latham, K.F. & Simmons, J. (2014). Foundations of Museum Studies: Evolving Systems of Knowledge. Westport, Conn., Libraries Unlimited.
  • Latham, K.F. (2014). Experiencing Documents. Journal of Documentation, 70(4): 544-561.
  • Wood, E. & Latham, K.F. (2013). The Objects of Experience: Transforming Visitor-Object Encounters in Museums. Walnut Creek, CA., Left Coast Press.
  • Latham, K.F. (2013). Numinous Experiences with Museum Objects. Visitor Studies, 16(1): 3-20.
  • Latham, K.F. (2012). Museum Object as Document: Using Buckland’s Information Concepts to Understand Museum Experiences. Journal of Documentation, 68(2): 45-71.
  • Wood, E. & Latham, K.F (2011). The Thickness of the Things: Exploring the Museum Curriculum through Phenomenological Touch. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 27(2): 51-65.
  • Latham, K.F. (2011). Medium Rare: Exploring Archives and their Conversion from Original to Digital, Part Two: The Holistic Knowledge Arsenal of Paper-based Archives LIBRES: Library and Information Science Research (Electronic Journal), 21 (1).
  • Latham, K.F. (2010). Medium Rare: Exploring Archives and Their Conversion from Original to Digital. Part One: Lessons from the History of Print Media." LIBRES: Library and Information Science Research (Electronic Journal), 20 (2). (File link:
  • Wood, E. & Latham, K.F. (2009). Object Knowledge: Researching Objects in the Museum Experience. Reconstruction 9.1,
  • Latham, K.F. (2007). The Poetry of the Museum: A Holistic Model for Numinous Museum Experiences. Museum Management and Curatorship, 22 (3).
  • Latham, K.F. (2007). Archives and Experience: Musings on Meaning. Collections, 3(2): 125-133.
  • Latham, K.F. (2007). The Invisibility of Collections Care Work. Collections 3(1): 103-112.

Selected Presentations

  • Latham, K.F. (2014). Re-imagining Visitor Encounters with Objects. [Session Chair]. American Alliance of Museums, Seattle, WA. May 17-21, 2014.
  • Latham, K.F. (2013).Object Knowledge. [Session chair].Visitor Studies Association, Milwaukee, WI., July 15-19, 2013.
  • Latham, K.F. (2012). Exploring the Museal Jungle. DOCAM, London, ON, CA.
  • Kearns, J. & Latham, K.F. (2012). A Tale of Two Document Storytelling Perspectives. DOCAM, London, ON, CA.
  • Latham, K.F. (2010). The Many Layers of Information Science. Panelist for session, RePositioning Information Science, ASIST, Pittsburgh, PA, October, 2010.
  • Latham, K.F. & Wood, E. (2009). The Secret Life of Objects. Idea Lounge for American Association of Museums Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Latham, K. F. (2008). Is the Object Experience? Session chair for 2008 American Association of Museums Annual Conference, Denver, CO.
Research Areas
  • Museology
  • Document Studies
  • Lived Experience of Materiality
  • Phenomenological Research Methods
Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D.
School of Library and Information Science

Office Hours: Wednesdays 9-12pm (F2F) & 7-9pm (online) & by appointment

Phone: 330-672-2782
Fax: 330-672-7965