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Tsybulskaya, D., and J. Camhi. “Accessing and Incorporating Visitors’ Entrance Narratives in Guided Museum Tours.” Curator 52(1) (2009): 81-100.


Museum visitors arrive at an exhibit or tour with their own individual experiences, memories and knowledge related to the subject — in a phrase, their “entrance narrative.” We tested what happens to participants in guided tours when the guide first accesses — by two different methods — the entrance narratives of their visitors, and then makes specific connections from these entrance narratives to the content of the tour. The subject of the tour was a guided tree walk at Hebrew University’s open-campus museum. Behavioral measures and question­naires both indicated that accessing and incorporating participants’ entrance narratives profoundly enhanced their experience. The enhancement was somewhat greater among visitors from the general public than among groups of university students. We suggest that guides could use the simple methods described here, in a wide variety of tour types, to enhance visitor experiences.

Informal Science