Museum Thresholds is a progressive, interdisciplinary volume and the first to explore the importance and potential of entrance spaces for visitor experience. Bringing together an international collection of writers from different disciplines, the chapters in this volume offer different theoretical perspectives on the nature of engagement, interaction and immersion in threshold spaces, and the factors which enable and inhibit those immersive possibilities.

Organised into themed sections, the book explores museum thresholds from three different perspectives. Considering them first as a problem space, the contributors then go on to explore thresholds through different media and, finally, draw upon other subjects and professions, including performance, gaming, retail and discourse studies, in order to examine them from an entirely new perspective. Drawing upon examples that span Asia, North America and Europe, the authors set the entrance space in its historical, social and architectural contexts. Together, the essays show how the challenges posed by the threshold can be rethought and reimagined from a variety of perspectives, each of which have much to bring to future thinking and design.

Combining both theory and practice, Museum Thresholds should be essential reading for academics, researchers and postgraduate students working in museum studies, digital heritage, architecture, design studies, retail studies and media studies. It will also be of great interest to museum practitioners working in a wide variety of institutions around the globe.

chapter 1|9 pages

On a new threshold

part I|67 pages

Locating and defining the threshold

chapter 2|20 pages

Hysterical atria

chapter 3|21 pages

The complexity of welcome

Visitor experience at the museum threshold

chapter |4 pages

Conversation 1

The Royal Air Force Museum London

part II|93 pages

Affordances and potential of the threshold

chapter 5|26 pages


Art in the threshold

chapter 6|12 pages

Curation at the threshold

Making museum meanings through new interfaces

chapter |5 pages

Conversation 2

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

chapter 8|19 pages

Difficult thresholds

Negotiating shared and embedded entrances

part III|81 pages

The threshold rethought

chapter 9|14 pages

Games in the lobby

A playful approach

chapter |3 pages

Conversation 3

The British Postal Museum and Archive

chapter 11|17 pages

Setting the tone for the visit

Soundscape design

chapter |3 pages

Conversation 4

The Royal Shakespeare Company

chapter 12|23 pages

The visitor as evaluator

Using appraisal theory to understand ‘threshold fear’