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

Museum Studies: Museum Origins Course

  • The Ponte Vecchio

  • Dome of the Cathedral and Crypt of Santa Reparta (The Duomo)

  • Gardens inside Palazzo Medici Riccardi

  • Museo Stibbert

  • Florence

  • Museo Nazionale del Bargello

  • Museo Galileo

  • Gelato!

  • The Inaugural Kent State Florence Gang!

  • Kent State Florence - Giotto Classroom

  • Kent State Florence Library

Study in Italy ~ summer 2016

(Note: the course originally scheduled for summer 2015 has been canceled; summer 2016 date is tentative -- additional information will be available in fall of 2015.)

-- Art, art history, architecture, history, public history, literature, anthropology, classics, Italian -- ALL MAJORS WELCOME!

(as well as graduate students in any discipline from any institution, and individuals who already hold a graduate degree)

Download the PowerPoint presentation from the online open house.

Join the Museum Origins Facebook group:

What better place to study the origin of museums than in Florence, Italy! Join the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science on a journey through the past to explore the ancestors of modern museums and their collections.

If you would like to receive information about the next class (tentatively scheduled for summer 2016), please provide contact information here. You'll receive information as soon as it becomes available, probably in the fall or winter of 2015-16.

Listen to what some of the students in the inaugural class (2012) have to say about Museum Origins in Florence, Italy:

Debbie Bussinger, Christine Bowersox, Chrissy Marquardt - Museum Origins 2012


  Chrissy Marquardt, Debbie Bussinger and Christine Bowersox


Michelle Rucker, Museum Origins 2012   Michelle Rucker

Kevin Steinbach, Museum Origins 2012

   Kevin Steinbach




Quick Links:

Museum Origins 2013 Overview - for reference only

Museum Studies at Kent State University SLIS

Course DetailsFlorence Duomo and Giotto Campanile

Course: LIS 61095


Class limit:
15 participants

Open to:

  • Graduate and undergraduate students from any institution, any major
  • Alumni of any graduate program (master’s or Ph.D.)

Itinerary in Florence:

  • Morning: Visits to museums
  • Afternoon: Discussions and lectures at Kent State Florence Palazzo de Cerchi


  • We are not accepting applications at this time.

Cost estimate:

A cost estimate is offered in the Museum Origins 2013 Overview, along with a program description and application instructions. Note: Some costs are subject to the US$/Euro(€) exchange rate; if the rate changes greatly, a small adjustment to the Program Fee may be necessary. The data indicated here reflect our best estimates at this time and the current fluctuation of the US$/Euro(€) exchange rate. Assumed US$/Euro(€) = 1.38. All fees shaded in grey are non-refundable. 

14-150x150Course Description

While the collecting of objects can be found as far back as ancient times in various parts of the world, the birth of the modern museum finds its roots in Europe, especially in Italy. In the context of today’s world, students will “go back in time” to understand the origins of Western museums and the meaning of publicly shared collections through a series of competing dualisms in knowledge creation and organization. Students will explore the history of the modern museum and spend two weeks visiting actual sites and collections that played a role in this history. Exploring the past in this way is geared specifically to help today’s museum workers gain a better understanding of their own role and purpose in their community, society and nation.

This course is part of a Museum Studies specialization within the Master of Library and Information Science degree at Kent State School of Library and Information Science. Museums, like libraries, are in the information business. The museum studies courses at Kent State employ a holistic approach to the study of museums as institutions that generate and perpetuate knowledge. Students will gain an understanding of museums in context as dynamic, interactive information systems composed of people, objects, and activities. Because the SLIS courses are structured within a library and information science framework, students are able to cut across the spectrum of traditional academic disciplines, which strengthens the skills of future museum professional by giving them a broader perspective, a larger knowledge base, and more flexibility. Students in the Museum Origins class do not need to be in the M.L.I.S. program, but should understand this unique approach to the discipline of museum studies.

Read more about the museum studies specialization at Kent State.

Questions? Contact Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D., at, or the SLIS office at 330-672-2782 or