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The museum profession began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With the development of institutions displaying natural science, history, and art were the debates over the role of these museum in society. This anthology collects 52 of the most important writings on museum philosophy dating from this formative period, written by the many of the American and European founders of the field. Genoways and Andrei contextualize these pieces with a series of introductions showing how the museum field developed within the social environment of the era. For those interested in museum history and philosophy or cultural history, this is an essential resource.