Museums have been active in shaping knowledge over the last six hundred years. Yet what is their function within today's society? At the present time, when funding is becoming increasingly scarce, difficult questions are being asked about the justification of museums. Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge presents a critical survey of major changes in current assumptions about the nature of museums. Through the examination of case studies, Eilean Hooper-Greenhill reveals a variety of different roles for museums in the production and shaping of knowledge. Today, museums are once again organising their spaces and collections to present themselves as environments for experimental and self-directed learning.