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Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)

Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)

Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)

More info. about the Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds

Questions answered by: Caroline and Yvette Pelletier, 11 May 2022. (Questions and answers in French, translation by Frankie Picron) 

Question 1: Interest?
Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)

Is there a lot of interest in your Museum, is your Museum important? In your city, your region, in your country? Why? Or... why not?

Our museum is of undeniable interest because it is the only museum dedicated to the history of the deaf in France. In this sense it is important.

It is known at the national level but also at the international level. Deafness in general, and its history in particular, arouses people's curiosity.

Question 2: Target Group?
Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)

The target group of your Museum: the Deaf community or also hearing persons? Adults, or also children? 

Can you tell us how many people visit your Museum, on average, Per day, week, or per month?

The museum targets the deaf community, of course, but also a wide audience, so hearing people. 

Adults visit it but also children taken by their schools. Researchers come here to find information for their work (theses, for example).

The number of visitors per month is very variable, depending on summer and winter. The number has continued to increase since the museum opened in 2013, except during the COVID health crisis; last year we had 235 visitors; in 2020: 168, and then in 2019: 419.

Question 3: Advertising
Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)

Does your Museum have a website? Do you use Social Media? Do you advertise in other ways? 

What - in your opinion -  is the most effective way to get people to visit your museum?

Website: https://www.musee-sourds-louhans.fr/ It contains a lot of stuff including pages on old elements of sign language.

We use certain social media: Facebook in particular  and Instagram.

Advertising in other ways? No, not for the moment.

But the local newspapers often talk about us and our activities as well as magazines for the deaf.

Most effective way? Talk about it as much as possible and make it known by all means, for example during association celebrations, conferences accompanied by flyers, etc.

Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)
Question 4: Location?

The location of your Museum. Is it in a building that is owned by you? Rented? Can you use it for free? Is your Museum located at a Deaf school, a Deaf Club or a Deaf Association? If we may ask: what are the costs? 

Our museum is located in a building that is the former city hospital, recognized as a historical monument!

It is made available to us free of charge. We pay the charges: electricity, water, heating, telephone (Internet)…

Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)
Question 5: Finances?

Is your museum a commercial enterprise, do you make a profit?

Do you receive funding? From who?

Our museum is a “Law 1901” type association (non-profit organization). We don't make a profit. 

We ensure that our finances are balanced.

We receive grants at various levels, donations from individuals and associations.

Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)
Question 6: People working at your Museum ?

Do you have any paid employees? If yes: how many? 

Do you depend on volunteers? How many volunteers work at your Museum?

The people who work at your Museum (as professionals or as volunteers) have they had any special training in Museum Skills, other relevant training? 

Paid employees: no.

Volunteers: yes.

It depends on the times but there is always at least one person. In addition, there is always someone present every Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. to receive the public.


We’re planning training in cataloguing and archiving

Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)
Question 7: Collaboration?

Do you work together with other Deaf Museums? Or universities, groups or Deaf Archives in Europe?  If you do, who with?
If you don't: would you like to cooperate with other organizations ? 


But yes, we’d like to.

Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)
Question 8: The Future?

What about the future of your Museum?  What are future risks, future opportunities? 

As the museum relies on volunteers, the risk is what the volunteers can do. If there are no more volunteers, a solution will have to be found with the support of the National Federation of the Deaf of France.

Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)
Question 9: Three wishes?

If you could make three wishes for the future of your Museum: or for Deaf Museums in general: what do you wish for?

  • For our museum to be better known by people.
  • Additional means.
  • Talk about our museum to the media.

Musée d'Histoire et de Culture des Sourds (FR)
Question 10: Anything Else?

Are there any other things you want to tell Deaf Associations, other organisations or people who want to start a Deaf Museum? Any advice? Things they should - or should not - do?

There are a few associations in France which have a small museum, either in their home or in the house of associations. I think they should be encouraged to continue to preserve, protect and safeguard the cultural heritage of the Deaf community.

It would also be interesting and necessary for museums to show solidarity and to be able to exchange information, knowledge and experiences.