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Hill, Kathryn. “The Role Of Research in the Opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.” Visitor Studies 7(1) (1995): 7-11.


The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was potentially a highly controversial endeavor. It is a federal institution, situated on valuable federal land, and the recipient of taxpayer dollars. Museum staff faced each new news story with our hearts in our mouths, waiting for the questions about why a Jewish museum? Why in Washington? And why with my dollars? We waited for the criticism, and what we got instead was exactly what we’d hoped-the story of the Museum as a critical lesson in civic responsibility and the terrible dangers of racism; the Holocaust as a world event, the lessons of which are relevant today; the exhibition program as a sensitively molded, compelling, and emotionally charged educational experience; the Museum as a building constructed exclusively with private donations and located not on, but adjacent to, the National Mall.

Informal Science