The research project titled “Engaging Young Adults in Museums” was an audience research study aimed at tackling several of the main issues surrounding the topic of young adult’s visitations (or lack of) to museums.

As the role of museums in society shifts from traditional collection-driven institutions to visitor-centred establishments with a prime role in the leisure industry, museums are now met with obligations to entertain visitors.

However, young adults are proving to be an age group that are exceptionally difficult to engage and entertain in museums internationally. Studies have shown that there is a significant gap in museum visiting from the time when youths leave school to when they settle down and have children. It is in the interests of museums to fill this gap and successfully engage the young adult audience.

Museum walk entrance
Accessible entrance to the Australian Museum Image: Megan Lawrence
© Australian Museum

This research project examined the following topics surrounding this issue; the barriers preventing young adults attending museums; how museums around the world are currently trying to engage this audience; and what the current needs and wants of this audience are in a museum.

A variety of research methods were used to investigate these issues including a literature review, observation study, case study and questionnaire.

For the full research paper, "Engaging Young Adults in Museums"


  1. Davies, R. ‘Overcoming Barriers to Visiting: Raising awareness of, and providing orientation and navigation to, a museum and its collections through new technologies’, Museum Management and Curatorship, vol.19, no.3, Routledge, Oxon, 2001, pp.283
  2. Anderson, G. Reinventing the museum: Historical and contemporary perspectives on the paradigm shift, Altamira, California, 2004, pp.1.
  3. Black, G. The Engaging Museum: Developing Museums for Visitor Involvement, Routledge, Oxon, 2005, pp.38.