1989 was designated Museums Year to commemorate the centenary of the Museums Association, and unlike many of these PR exercises this one resulted in museums (especially national museums based in London) receiving an unusual amount of coverage in the qualities. Whether stories of protests and problems would have the desired positive effect on actual attendances has not yet been calculated. The unusually sunny weather cannot have helped much either. But the Museums Association itself produced a series of 11 regional guides which if read on the beach or in the pool would have enabled the readers almost to think that they had actually visited the collections described in considerable detail. Too many to note here but a list of all the titles is available from the MA or the Museums and Galleries Commission. Simon Olding's Exploring Museums: London (ISBN 0 11 2904653) and Arnold Wilson's Exploring Museums: The South West (ISBN 0 11 2904696) tackle their areas entertainingly, but their step‐by‐step guides to some of their subjects may soon be outdated as many existing museums are currently undergoing major rearrangements or refurbishments.
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