Simon Knell. 2021 (published September 2020). The Museum’s Borders: On the Challenge of Knowing and Remembering Well, Routledge, London. This book is concerned with revealing and overcoming the borders constructed as museums perform as site of knowledge and memory. Chapters 5 and 6 deal specifically with history making in the museum. The book also includes a short history of the technological changes that underpin the Zeitgeist, the global contemporary – a concept introduced in this The Contemporary Museum. The final chapter discusses how history, and other interpretive practices, can be reshaped to better serve the citizen. Follow the link for full details of the book and access to an updated version of chapter 1.
Simon Knell. 2019 (released Sept 2018). ‘The museum in the global contemporary’ and ‘Modernisms: curating art’s past in the global present’, in Simon Knell (ed.), The Contemporary Museum: Shaping Museums for the Global Now, Routledge, London, 1-10 and 13-36. The opening introduction introduces the ‘global contemporary’ as a Zeitgeist and the ‘contemporary museum’ as an orientation to it. The first chapter discusses the implications of the global contemporary for the interpretation of the history of modern art in general, in museums and in countries at the margin. Other chapters discuss history making in the museum. Follow the link for full details of the contributions to this book and to an accepted manuscript version of chapter 1.
Simon J. Knell. 2016. National Galleries: The Art of Making Nations, Routledge, London. A global study of national galleries (or national museums of fine art) and of the role of these institutions in the construction of national art and nations. It rewrites the history of the development of national galleries in chapters 4 and 5, and discusses the often surprising practices used to construct histories of national and international art. Follow the link for full details of the book and access to an accepted manuscript version of chapter 1.
Simon J. Knell. 2016. ‘The gift of historical consciousness: museums, art and poverty’, in Viviane Gosselin and Phaedra Livingstone (eds) Museums and the Past: Constructing Historical Consciousness, University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver. A study which looks at the construction of historical consciousness in Vancouver, which considers the implications of the social boundaries present in the city and the transgressions of museums and artists.
Peter Aronsson and Simon Knell (eds) (for the Eunamus partnership). 2012. National Museums Making Histories in a Diverse Europe, Linkoping University Press, Linkoping. The concluding dissemination report of the Eunamus investigation. Follow the link for details of, and full access to, this report.
Simon Knell. 2012. The Great Fossil Enigma: The Search for the Conodont Animal, Indiana University Press, Bloomington. A historical study of the research culture that emerged around one of science’s greatest enigmas. It considers the role of intangible fossils in the production of scientific belief and understanding. It is a unique study in the history of science. Follow the link for full details of the book and a preview on Google Books.
Simon J. Knell. 2008. ‘The road to Smith: How the Geological Society came to possess English geology’, in Cherry Lewis & Simon Knell (eds.) The Making of the Geological Society of London, Geological Society, London. A long, rich and complex sociological historical study of the invention of ‘English geology’ and the reception of ‘The Father of English Geology’, William Smith. Follow the link for full details of the book and access to the finish and accepted manuscript versions of this chapter.
Simon J. Knell. 2007. ‘Museums, fossils and the cultural revolution of science: mapping change in the politics of knowledge in early nineteenth-century Britain’ in Simon Knell, Suzanne MacLeod and Sheila Watson (eds), Museum Revolutions: How Museums Change and Are Changed, Routledge, London. This chapter offers a historical analysis of how institutions and disciplinary cultures change, and how that change can be revealed through studies of material culture. It gives a fresh analysis data presented in The Culture of English Geology, 1815–1851 to reveal the presence of a previously unobserved cultural revolution. Follow this link for full details of this book and access to an accepted manuscript version of this chapter.
Simon J. Knell. 2007. ‘The sustainability of geological mapmaking: the case of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, Earth Sciences History, 26(1), 13-29. A short history of the political context of science.
Simon J. Knell and Michael A. Taylor. 2006 . ‘Hugh Miller: fossils, landscape and literary geology‘, Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 117, 85-98. Hugh Miller is a Scottish literary icon, and was a fabulous travel writer, newspaper editor, and ‘amateur’ geologist. This historical study looks at this complexity. Follow the link to an accepted manuscript version of the paper.
Simon J. Knell. 2004 (1997). ‘Brighton, Albert George (1900-1988)’, New DNB.
Simon J. Knell, S.J. and Michael A. Taylor. 2003. ‘Hugh Miller, fossil discoverer and collector’, in Borley, L. (ed.) Celebrating the Life and Times of Hugh Miller: Scotland in the Early 19th Century. Ethnography and Folklore, Geology and Natural History, Church and Society, Cromarty Arts Trust, Edinburgh, UK.
Simon J. Knell. 2002. ‘Collecting, conservation and conservatism: late twentieth century developments in the culture of British geology’, in Oldroyd, D.R. (ed.), The Earth Inside and Out: Some Major Contributions to Geology in the Twentieth Century,Geological Society, London, 329-351. ISBN 1-86239-096-7. A historical study of the politics of conservation as Britain moved from the 1970s into the 1980s. Follow the link to the paper to access an accepted manuscript version, or follow the link to the book to discover its contents.
Cherry Lewis & Simon J. Knell, (eds) 2001. The Age of the Earth: From 4004BC to AD2002, Geological Society, London, including introductory chapter by Knell and Lewis, ‘Celebrating the age of the Earth’. A celebratory history.
Simon J. Knell. 2000. The Culture of English Geology, 1815-1851: A Science Revealed Through its Collecting, Ashgate, 377pp. A pioneering historical study of geology as a culture during its heroic phase, which also provides a history of the invention of museum culture in Britain as it transferred from the individual (amateur and professional), to private civic and learned societies, to publicly funded institutions. Now out of print, you have full access to this book on this site.
Simon J. Knell. 1996. ‘The roller-coaster of museum geology’, in Pearce, S.M. (ed.) Exploring Science in Museums, New Research in Museum Studies, Athlone, 29-56. This historical study seeks to explain the disorder seen in collections in the late twentieth century by looking at the episodic nature of the support for geology in the museum over the previous two centuries. Follow the link to access the accepted manuscript version of this paper.
Patrick Wyse-Jackson & Simon J. Knell, (eds.) 1994 Museums and Fossil Excavation, Geological Curator, 6(2), Thematic Issue, including the historical essays, ‘Collecting and excavation in palaeontology’ and ‘Palaeontological excavation: historical perspectives’. Follow the link to access this publication.
M.A.V. Gill & Simon J. Knell. 1988. ‘Tunbridge Wells Museum: Geology and George Abbott (1844-1925)’, The Geological Curator, 5, 3-16. Follow this link to access this publication looking at the development, loss and rescue of these collections.