woman

Deborah Tout-Smith

Deputy Head, Humanities (Exhibitions), Senior Curator, Home & Community

About me

Contact me
Contact me through our enquiries team

I have been a museum curator for over 30 years, focusing on social and cultural history, with additional experience as a collections manager and registrar. I have a strong interest in the voices of those who can no longer be heard, or who were never heard. My particular interests include World War I history, culinary history and home life.  

I have worked at Museums Victoria, the Western Australian Museum, the University of Alberta and the Ohio Historical Society, and have worked in the Humanities Department of Museums Victoria since 2002.

The major exhibitions I have curated include World War I: Love & Sorrow (2014), The Melbourne Story (with Liza Dale-Hallett, 2008), Spirit of the Games (2006) and Foundations of Fremantle (1997).

I am Deputy Chair of the Board of ICOM Australia, and have also had a long involvement with Museums Australia, including presidency of Museum Historians National Network for four years. I am currently serving on the program committee for the 2018 Museums Galleries Australasia conference.

Qualifications

Master of Arts (High Distinction), 1993
Public History, Monash University

Bachelor of Arts (Honors), 1990
La Trobe University

Key publications

Jones, Michael, Darian-Smith, Kate, McCarthy, Gavan and Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2017. ‘The Dorothy Howard Collection: revealing the structures of folklore archives in museums’. Archives & Manuscripts, vol. 45, issue 2, July 2017

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2017. ‘Love & Sorrow: the Role of Emotion in Exhibition Development and Visitor Experience’. In Loughran, T. and Mannay, D., Emotion and the Researcher: Sites, Subjectivities and Relationships. Studies in Qualitative Methodology series, Emerald Books, Bingley, UK (forthcoming)

Tout-Smith, Deborah (ed.), Melbourne: a City of Stories, Museum Victoria, 2008. ISBN 9 7809 758 3709 2

Links

Projects and events

Recent exhibitions

World War I: Love & Sorrow exhibition, 2014-18, Melbourne Museum

The Melbourne Story exhibition (joint lead curator with Liza Dale-Hallett), 2008+, Melbourne Museum

Conferences & presentation highlights

'In Conversation: Madame Serini'. Panel with Marcello Serini and  Laura Jocic, Immigration Museum, 19 March 2017

Keynote – ‘The making of the Love & Sorrow exhibition’, Victorian Collections Day, 9 August 2016

'Exhibiting the Great War – Academics and Curators Working Together', with Kate Hunter, Kirstie Ross and Bart Ziino. Australian Historical Association annual conference, 6 July 2016

'Memories and Media, Memorials and Museums: Are We Already Done With the Great War Centenary?' with Kerry Neale and Kirstie Ross. Museums Australasia conference, 18 May 2016

'Reflecting on the Anzac Centenary & Memorialisation', with Marilyn Lake and Carolyn Holbrook. Professional Historians Association, 5 April 2016

Current publications

Editing volume based on the themes of the World War I: Love & Sorrow exhibition, with Professor Joy Damousi and Dr Bart Ziino (Museums Victoria Publications, forthcoming 2018)

Teaching and students

I'm available for student supervision.

Rachael Cottle (Deakin, MA)

Jessica Christie (Deakin, Diploma)

Laura Jocic (University of Melbourne, PhD)

Publications

Books, Chapters, Published Reports & Catalogues

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2017. ‘Love & Sorrow: the Role of Emotion in Exhibition Development and Visitor Experience’. In Loughran, T. and Mannay, D., Emotion and the Researcher: Sites, Subjectivities and Relationships. Studies in Qualitative Methodology series, Emerald Books, Bingley, UK (forthcoming)

Tout-Smith, Deborah (ed.), Melbourne: a City of Stories, Museum Victoria, 2008. ISBN 9 7809 758 3709 2

Tout-Smith, Deborah, Foundations of Fremantle. Western Australian Museum, 1998. ISBN 0 7307 3811 6

Tout-Smith, Deborah, Contemporary Craft and Cultural Identity. Museum Victoria, 1993. ISBN 0 7306 2499 4

Refereed articles

Jones, Michael, Darian-Smith, Kate, McCarthy, Gavan and Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2017. ‘The Dorothy Howard Collection: revealing the structures of folklore archives in museums’. Archives & Manuscripts, vol. 45, issue 2, July 2017

Smith, Charlotte H.F and Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2010. ‘Recreating Place: Little Lon’. Museum Management and Curatorship. Vol 25 (1)

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2002. ‘Art and Personal Meaning: Partnerships with the Public’. Journal of Education in Museums (UK), 23

Non-refereed articles & proceedings

Tout-Smith, Deborah. 2016. Documenting the Dorothy Howard Collection: a Digital Approach. Play and Folklore, no. 66, December, pp. 15-18.

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2016. 'Anzac centenary & memorialization'. PHA Historically Speaking series, 5 April 2016, published on Honest History web site http://honesthistory.net.au/wp/tout-smith-deborah-anzac-centenary-and-memorialisation-speech-to-pha-vic/, April 2016

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2016. ‘In conversation with… Deborah Tout-Smith, Senior Curator at Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Australia’. Imperial War Museum, Centenary Partnership Program, http://members.1914.org/2016/01/20/in-conversation-with-deborah-tout-smith-senior-curator-at-museum-victoria-melbourne-australia/

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2014. ‘Love & Sorrow: Exhibiting World War I’. Timelines, no.16, Oct-Nov 2014, pp. 4-7

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2014. ‘Exhibiting War: the challenges of sensitivity'. Insite Magazine, November 2014 – January 2015, pp.6-7

Tout-Smith, Deborah. 2013. ‘Data, Access and Imagination: an interview with Susan Cairns’. Insite Magazine, July-August 2013, p.9.

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2012. ‘School Life in Exhibitions at Museum Victoria’, Classroom to Campus: the Heritage of Modern Education, International Symposium, 26-28 November, Papers, pp. 40-41

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2012. ‘Global Curator: Aminatta Kamara’. Insite, Feb-April 2012, pp. 8-9.

Tout-Smith, D. 2010. After the event: the sixth floor museum at Dealey Plaza [interview with Lindsey Richardson]. Insite magazine, Museums Australia (Victoria), November 2010-January 2011, p. 2-3.

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2004. ‘Museum Victoria collection placed on UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register’, Play and Folklore, no.45, Sept., pp1-2

Tout-Smith, Deborah, 2001. ‘Canada Postcard: Introducing the Clothing and Textiles Collection of the University of Alberta’. Museum National, November, pp.17-18

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