There is much more to museums than the documenting, monumentalizing or theme-parking of identity, history and heritage. This anthology aims to make strange the very existence of museums and to plot a critical, historical and ethical understanding of their origins and history. A radical selection of key texts introduces the reader to the intense investigation of the modern European idea of the museum that has taken place since the 1950s. Texts first published in journals and books are brought together in one volume with up-to-the-minute and specially commissioned pieces by leading administrators, curators and art historians. The selections are organized by key themes that map the evolution of the debate and are introduced by Donald Preziosi and Claire Farago.