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Immigrantmuseet Immigration Museum, Farum, Denmark

The first exhibition was created in 2001 as part of Farums Arkiver og Museer, the local museum of the municipality of Farum, north of Copenhagen. The new permanent exhibition was inaugurated on 27th January, 2012, and is designed by Kvorning Communications and Design, an architectural firm based in Copenhagen. The museum is located inside the Farum Cultural Centre, which also hosts a cinema, an art gallery, a library, a music school and a café. Together, these activities create a very lively atmosphere and help bring people to the museum—access to which is free.

The area of the museum is about 400 square metres, and is divided into four parts: the hall, the “kitchen,” the so-called “labyrinth” and the temporary exhibitions gallery.

The museum focuses entirely on immigration, in the spirit of integrating the Danish Emigration Archives based in Aalborg, with which the museum has developed a close cooperation. Together with Mosegaarden, in the town of Værløse, and “The old grocery store, Cornelen” in Farum, the Immigrantmuseet is part of the Furesø Museums network. The museum addresses itself mostly to people living in Denmark, with a special focus on school children.The recent translation of all the texts into English makes the museum accessible to a wider public, as well as to the tourists. One of the main challenges is to attract migrant citizens and to involve them in the cultural reflections going on in and around the museum. Its physical position in the heart of the cultural centre could help, but because it has been open such a short time, the work is still in progress.

The educational activities regarding schools and adults are developed mainly through visits, which can be “general” or thematic, video projections accompanied by talks, concerts, genealogy courses and other forms of involve-

ment. Some activities are being designed expressly for teen-agers, such as an “integration game” played both in the classroom and in the museum. The museum is run through public funding— both governmental and local—and tries to attract other funding for its research activities, as well as for projects concerning exhibitions and other kinds of public activities.

It is member of AEMI and of the Danish Museums network, and collaborates with a number of institutions, mostly in Europe but not exclusively. Part of the outreach activity is developed through the social networks and the museum’s blog. An important tool is the website dedicated to integration strategies through 500 years of Danish history (www. velkommenher.dk).

The museum has developed three databases, dedicated to the registration of immigrant workers from 1812 to 1924, to awarded citizenships from 1776 to 1960, and to expulsions from 1873 to 1919, all accessible through the website. It also owns an archive—mostly made of interviews. At the beginning the collections were very small, but through time they have attracted more donations and loans. ææ in the labyrinth

Ellis Island in New York, Pier 21 in Halifax and especially the CNHI in Paris, as well as other European museums, proved to be the best source of inspiration for the Immigrantmuseet. The CNHI was particularly influential due to its multi-layered interpretation of migration as an individual, social and historical phenomenon, and the continuous interconnection between theoretical issues and personal histories.

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European Museums in the 21st Century: Setting the Framework - Vol. 2  

This book grew out of the earliest work of the MeLa Research Field 6, “Envisioning 21st Century Museums,” aimed at exploring current trends...

European Museums in the 21st Century: Setting the Framework - Vol. 2  

This book grew out of the earliest work of the MeLa Research Field 6, “Envisioning 21st Century Museums,” aimed at exploring current trends...

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