Sérgio Lira, Museums and Temporary Exhibitions as means of propaganda: the Portuguese case during the Estado Novo, Tese de Doutoramento, University of Leicester, 2002
This thesis aims at understanding how museums and temporary exhibitions were used for the purposes of nationalist propaganda during the Portuguese Estado Novo (1926-1974). The dissertation is therefore centred in the analysis of several museums, which are presented as significant case studies of the Portuguese museological reality, as well as in the presentation of all temporary exhibitions of the period where clear propagandistic goals were detectable.
According to the plan of the research the methodology to be used was mainly that of the historians. Therefore, after the establishment of a core of concepts, which is presented in the first chapters of the thesis, research was conducted by collecting, analysing and interpreting a body of information that resulted from archive material which was grasped from national, museum and private archives. The materials used range from official documentation of the museums to letters and photographs. The latter were particularly useful for the visual reconstitution of parcels of the temporary exhibitions or even of some permanent exhibition rooms of the museums. Complementary, oral testimonies of former directors and workers of some of the museums were used. The legislation of the period was also grasped for collecting all important laws and decrees concerning museums. All through the research, the establishment of documental evidence to ground any conclusion to be reached was a permanent concern. Hence the case studies and the temporary exhibitions were first presented in order to enable the reader to picture each museum as a case.
The final chapter moves into a deeper level of interpretation, by trying to read the articulation of the dominant ideology of the period with the discourse of museums and of temporary exhibitions, and finally elaborating on the theoretical standpoints of the Portuguese museum practice of the epoch.
A tese está disponível na íntegra em http://www2.ufp.pt/~slira/phd/phd.htm
Outros artigos do autor sobre a mesma temática estão disponíveis em http://www2.ufp.pt/~slira/Artigos.htm.