ECOMUSEUMS

Ceumannan is the only so called ecomuseum in Scotland.
An Ecomuseum is a dynamic way in which communities preserve, interpret, and manage their heritage for a sustainable development. An Ecomuseum is based on a community agreement.

Key ecomuseum values:

  • The preservation, conservation and interpretation of heritage resources
  • The participation, empowerment and community involvement
  • The use of heritage to aid local sustainable development

The word "ecomuseum" comes from two Greek words:

  • oikos - it means house or whole (the cultural historical adaptation to natural conditions and to the surrounding society)
  • museion - it means a collection of objects (of scientific or cultural interest)

An ecomuseum is in particular concerned with the presentation on the spot where natural historical and cultural historical subjects happen or happened in the past. Presentation is not just for permanent exhibitions in museums but also something that happens out in the landscape, placing the small individual experiences into a "whole".

The idea of an ecomuseum was introduced by the French museologist Hugues de Varine in 1971. "Local Worlds", the European Network of Ecomuseums, is an active network of ecomuseum practitioners and theorists in Europe (mainly Italy). It holds regular meetings in a variety of countries to share experiences and new ideas. www.ecomuseums.eu

Professor Peter Davis, Professor of Museology, International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University, is an expert on ecomuseums worldwide. In his book 'Ecomuseums' (1999) he referred to the initiatives at Kilmartin and Easdale Island on the West Coast of Scotland, both of which had employed 'ecomuseum-type' approaches to safeguarding heritage, and had toyed with the idea of calling themselves an ecomuseum. www.ncl.ac.uk/sacs/about/icchs

The IRES in Turin, Itlay runs an excellent website and database relating to ecomuseum activities worldwide. www.retilunghe.net