About

One of the undertakings that I pursued within my research mandate as an international student in Kerala state, India, was to start an extensive survey of museums of Kerala. This task was founded upon the perceptible gap in the documentation of museums of Kerala. A survey research initiative conducted in the period 2015-2020 formed an essential part of my PhD research effort. The main content in this book, a Directory, is the result of that survey. At the inception of my pilot research work, I quickly noticed that most publications on museums of Kerala, while useful, fell short of my research requirements ostensibly because they had not been updated for quite some time. Publications such as the popular directory “Museums of India” by Smt. Usha Agrawal (2013)constituted some of the few reliable publications available at the commencement of my studies in India. Among the other reference books on Kerala museums that I found helpful to include is the seminal Handbook on the museums of Kerala by Dr. S.B. Darsana (2009) that lists over 50 museums from all parts of Kerala state. Of note also in this category are the much older publications published during India’s early postindependence period. These include the directory publication by Hudson and Nicholls (2014) that has few entries on Kerala museums and the 1959 Directory of museums of India by the museologist Sri. Sivaramamurti (1959). Older still is the work by Markham and Hargreaves (1936)on Indian museums written in 1936. The other more current works with the content on museums of Kerala include government reports and tourist guidebooks. The latter category includes The Blue Book by Miller (2012). This work, a tour guidebook, provides a perspective(albeit non-academic) of what museums offer in Kerala’s famous tourist circuit. This directory is an addition to this diverse repertoire of literature on Kerala museums. My work attempts to fill some gaps left by past publications in terms of scope and focus. The publication provides a tally of the number of museums available in various parts of Kerala at the time of my study. The publication specifically lists 183 museums in operation at the time of my Kerala museum mapping survey. Two of the museums listed herein are located in neighbouring Tamil Nadu State. These museums, both located in The Padmanabhapuram Palace complex in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, are considered, at least in this publication, as museums of Kerala despite them being geographically outside Kerala State. The reasoning here is that their historical roots and current administrative status tie them to Kerala State. Of course, this publication is not the last word. Rather, it, in my view, forms but a small addition to the growing body of literature on museums of Kerala State.

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