Nov 17 | 0 comments


We invite submissions to be included in this forthcoming book to be published by MuseumsEtc on the centennial of the founding of New England Museum Association (NEMA). 

Submissions are limited to members of NEMA. Not a member of NEMA? Join today! 
A downloadable version of this Call for Papers is available here.

Widely respected as a locus of educational, historical, and cultural activities, New England has long served as a region founded in tradition and expanded with innovation. New England has made innumerable contributions to the museum field in the establishment of museums and academic programs. The founding of New England Museum Association in 1918 fortified the region’s commitment to the development of museums, and it is in the same spirit that we issue a publication dedicated to the state of affairs in museums on the centennial of NEMA. This publication is the first to bring together diverse voices, linked by their commitment to NEMA, in order to contemplate the issues, challenges, strengths, and developments within today’s museums. Curated by NEMA thought leaders, this volume will celebrate and essentialize the tenets at the core of the NEMA mission and of museum leaders everywhere, exploring issues of community, advocacy, thought leadership, other topics in candid considerations of the past, present, and future of museums.


  1. To coalesce a variety of perspectives from NEMA members into a publication reflecting the current state of museums, and to consider our roles as producers and consumers in the museum world, and in the context of the evolution of the museum field over the course of the 100 years of NEMA’s existence.
  2. To recognize the shifts in culture, urbanization, technology and diversity that have affected and continue to impact the mission, operations, and priorities of museums.
  3. To reflect on meaningful museum experiences which NEMA members have been a part of – either as professionals or as visitors – and to contemplate where our field may venture in the future.
  4. To offer a diverse range of voices from academic and professional fields, of all backgrounds and age levels.
  5. To celebrate the NEMA Centennial by creating of a record of past developments in the museum field, impressions of the current state of museum affairs, and thoughts to lead us onto the future of museums.


We welcome proposals for essays from members of the New England Museums Association. Aspects of interest include, but are not limited to:

  1. The future of the field and the potential legacy(ies) of museums in America and particularly (but not exclusively) in the New England region
  2. The role of innovation, including professional practice and audience programming.
  3. Positive and impactful museum experiences.
  4. Successful work of museums, including discussions of institutional structures, policies, or practices, inclusive of administration, operations, finances, fund-raising, facilities, collections management, technology, and ethics.
  5. Museums as personal, professional, and cultural motivators of change.


If you are interested in being considered as a contributor, please submit a proposal and a short biography (in Microsoft Word format). Proposals should be 300-500 words in length and biographies 100-200 words.

You can propose to submit either a chapter or a case study. Chapters will be 4000-6000 words in length. Case studies will be 1000-2000 words. The inclusion of images is encouraged. Please prepare your proposal with these parameters in mind. The work should not have been published elsewhere and all contributions must be submitted in English - translation services will not be provided.

The deadline for proposals is Monday, November 20, 2017. Please email your proposal to both the editors [] and the publishers []. Any queries in advance of submission should be sent to the editors.

The State of Museums: Voices from the Field will be published by MuseumsEtc in print and digital editions. Contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the publication and a discount on more.

Proposals Due:  November 20, 2017
Contributors Notified:  December 11, 2017
Completed Papers Due:  March 5, 2018


Rebekah Beaulieu is the Associate Director at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. She previously served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Winchester Historical Society and the Sanborn House Historical and Cultural Center in Winchester, Massachusetts. Rebekah is the author of Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) and previously served as the managing editor of Modern Intellectual History, a journal published by Cambridge University Press. Rebekah holds a B.A. in American Studies and Art History from The George Washington University, an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in American and New England Studies from Boston University. Rebekah is a board member of NEMA and active in the American Alliance of Museums as a certified Accreditation/MAP Peer Reviewer. She also serves as a trustee of the Pejepscot Historical Society and a member of the Village Review Board in Brunswick, Maine.

Dawn E. Salerno is Deputy Director for Public Engagement and Operations at Mystic Museum of Art in Connecticut. She has held positions in the education departments of The Wadsworth Atheneum and Lyman Allyn Art Museum. She has been a grant reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services and for Connecticut Humanities. Dawn sits on the board of the latter where she chairs the Advisory Review Committee. She is currently a board member and First Vice President of NEMA. She earned her Master’s degree in Museum Education Leadership at Bank Street College and her B.A. in Classical Studies and Religion at Boston University. Dawn completed the Getty Leadership Institute Executive Education Program for Museum Leaders in 2017.

Mark S. Gold is a partner in the law firm of Smith Green & Gold, LLP, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and International Studies from The American University, a law degree from Georgetown University, and a master’s degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University. Mark has published numerous articles and participated in panels on a national and regional level on deaccessioning, legal issues for museums, and governance. He was co-editor of the three-volume A Handbook for Academic Museums, published in 2012 by MuseumsEtc, and authored two chapters of The Legal Guide for Museum Professionals edited by Julia Courtney. He is a board member and Treasurer of NEMA.


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