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Scientific Publications

Research Forums for Museum Practice and Theory

Whether in print or online, aimed at academics or the general reader, publications produced by Musées de la civilisation develop out of research activities carried out by its different departments. These publications aim to contribute to the advancement of current knowledge on the themes and issues that are central to the cultural mission of Musées de la civilisation.

Whether in print or online, publications by Musées de la civilisation are often produced in partnership with publishing houses, university researchers and research centres. Musées de la civilisation recently launched two new publication series available online: an international and multilingual refereed journal and a magazine aimed at providing access to the research produced by projects:

  • THEMA. La revue des Musées de la civilisation
  • Variations

THEMA is a multilingual, interdisciplinary and international refereed journal produced by the Musées de la civilisation (MCQ). It publishes original research articles, reports, essays, critical notes and commentaries, interviews, and exhibition reviews that address important issues of society in a critical and innovative manner. Essentially a journal of contemporary thought and debate, THEMA aims to bridge disciplines and stimulate comparative approaches in order to illustrate the complexity of societies, past and present, particularly as they relate to museums. THEMA accepts manuscripts that draw from disciplines such as history, art history, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, communication, history of science, museology, philosophy, pedagogy, and aesthetics.

THEMA continues in the tradition of the Musées de la civilisation's core values by examining original and thought-provoking topics in an interdisciplinary way. The journal seeks contributions that both reflect on and give further meaning to the idea of civilization, broadly defined, and its application in a museum context. Each issue explores variations on a specific theme, by bringing together authors from diverse disciplines to collectively exchange ideas and help bridge the gap between museums, societies, and cultures.

Visit THEMA THEMA. La revue des Musées de la civilisation


Issue 1 (2014)                                                        Issue 2 (2015)


Issue 3 (2015)

Issue 4 (2016)             


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THEMA is supported by the Plan culturel numérique du Québec
(Québec's digital cultural plan)


Variations publishes the research findings of Musées de la civilisation.

Variations is a new online series of theme-based publications that aim to highlight the many research findings produced by our staff members or by external researchers for numerous institutional projects. In short, the aim is to take the reader into the museum's backrooms and laboratories.

The texts vary over a range of subjects. For consistency, the Variations series is divided into three collections:

  • The collection Pratiques muséales (Museum Practices) offers original thoughts and ideas about relevant museum experiences.
  • The collection Objets et savoirs (Objects and Knowledge) publishes articles that build on themes addressed by our projects or that present a component of our collections.
  • The collection Dialogues (Dialogues) proposes texts from conferences, symposia or various workshops.

Collection Dialogues

First issue (French only): Le Québec depuis 1870 : entre histoire nationale et histoire transnationale

Collection Museum Practices

First issue (French only): Réminiscence, quand le passé aide le présent

Variations Réminiscence quand le passé aide le présent

Collection Objects and Knowledge

First issue: (French only) Les jeux vidéo au cœur de l'art, de la culture et de la société (Video Games in Art, Culture, and Society)


As for all exhibitions, research at Musées de la civilisation follows the principles of a theme-based museology. Research activities include :