European Commission - 7th Framework Programme European Museums and Libraries in/of the age of migrations last updated: February 2015

ICOMAM Congress: Contemporary History and Social Relevance

8-10 October 2014

Moscow, Russia | Central Museum of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and State Historical Museum


The Central Museum of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and State Historical Museum will be the venues of the ICOMAM annual Committee Congress in the capital of the Russian Federation.

The goal of the conference is to present the most current research and methods in military history and to exchange the latest information about military museum collections and objects. The conference will also explore problems and techniques in the conservation and restoration of weapons, armaments and military equipment, accoutrements and archival materials.

Moscow is particularly rich in museums, sites and collections of military history. Moscow’s museums have unique exhibits and large and important collections. Moscow’s many professional military museum colleagues are ready to share their experience and research with the conference attendees.

The Congress is supported by ICOM Russia, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Government of the City of Moscow.

The modern museum is a versatile, multi-functional, and proactive social institution. Museums need to adapt to changing cultural values while maintaining historical accuracy and retain their place as cultural "treasure troves" and educational creative laboratories. They are dynamic places of conservation, study and present material culture as witnesses of the past. Museum artifacts are a timeless "bridge" of communication between the original users and makers and viewers today. Museum professionals must maintain a balance of representing the past and remaining relevant for the present.

Museums are transmitters of information. They have a significant role to play in ever-changing dialogue on the meaning of history which occurs between state interests, ethnic and social groups and cultural institutions. This is particularly important for military history museums. Military history museums keep alive the cultural memory of the numerous conflicts and the civilians and military professionals who were part of these wars. They represent the history of the armies, their heroes and villains, military science, armament and weapons. They may give hope for peaceful coexistence in view of the terrible history of war.

Today, the relevance of military exhibits and collections and the success of their activities depends upon many factors. Foremost is the adaptation of these museums to the changing socio- economic and cultural conditions in the modern world.

It is not possible to discuss all the issues facing the military, military-historical museums and collections within this conference. Therefore, we believe that contemporary relevance is the key provision for the presentations and discussions on all areas of the museum practice, including:


I. Collecting Plans:

The manner in which new-collected objects can interpret contemporary modern historical theory
The influence of historical tradition on the collection of artifacts;
The chronological framework of the contemporary collection;
Proper and standardized attribution of objects in the museum collection;
Best practices in restoration and conservation of museum objects

II. Exhibiting Collections:

The interpretation of museum objects and collections
Best practices and exhibit techniques in contemporary museum display
Illustrating historical context in presentation of museum objects;
Multimedia and digital technology in museum exhibitions: visitor expectations, success of presentations and technical difficulties.
The weapon as an example of the achievements of technical and design ideas and as a means of warfare.


III. Does Society Need Military History Museums?

The public value and significance of military and historical museums and collections
How the museum and its influence might inform society and the state to resolve conflict issues peacefully
The achievements of military science and technology for “peaceful purposes"
Participatory exhibits and programming, inviting visitor’s ownership and involvement into submitted stories

IV. The Museum and its Visitor:

Educational and public programs based on permanent displays and traveling exhibits
Visitor research and Audience segmentation
Tolerance and Patriotism
Visitor and museum interaction – constructive dialogue
Events and Activities


Further details can be found on the Congress website.


» link to the Conference