What’s in a name? The use of a literary figure in marketing a museum

Braun, Kate (2006) What’s in a name? The use of a literary figure in marketing a museum. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Having demonstrated the area of literary tourism to be extremely wide ranging, this study examines the recent trend by some museums to associate themselves with a literary figure in order to generate a product which can be distinguished from that of their competitors. Although the research looks chiefly at the extent to which a literary figure can be used by a museum as a marketing tool, it also considers its potential to become a learning device and how it affects the authenticity of a site.

    The investigation draws upon empirical evidence gathered by the researcher using visitor questionnaires at The Jane Austen Centre, The Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery and Tom Brown’s School Museum. This material has been substantiated by a selection of secondary texts which look at a number of the more general issues facing museums, heritage and literary tourism today.

    The evidence presented here suggests that the name of a literary figure can, in general, be utilized by a museum as a marketing tool because it attracts a greater diversity of visitors to the site, acts as a brand and even helps to promote other places in the local area. It was discovered that by using a literary figure many visitors were able to learn something new from the contents of the museum’s displays. Although for the researcher the authenticity of the case study sites was affected by the presence of a literary figure, many visitors to the museums rarely spoke about it in explicit forms. Whilst a few did link a loss of authenticity at the sites to the lack of original objects relating to the literary figure, many more stressed the importance of the creation of an ‘authentic atmosphere’.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: ?? EDAM ??
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2011 15:06
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:17
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/1127

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