The Museum Learning Collaborative (MLC), funded by a consortium of public agencies under the direction of the Institute for Museum and Library Services, has been established to further theoretically driven research on learning in museums. This nationwide project includes a core set of researchers and museums working together to create a community of scholars dedicated to developing a common research agenda that benefits from the combined expertise of these two constituencies. In support of this agenda, the MLC is assembling a comprehensive annotated literature database that will be an invaluable resource for museum professionals, museum studies students, and others interested in informal learning. In addition, the MLC is compiling a list of university course syllabi which deal with informal learning and learning in museums. The ultimate goal is to bring together academic and museum researchers so they can proceed with a common research focus, one that builds from two substantial bodies of knowledge--on learning and on museums--to create a clearer understanding of how learning occurs in museum environments.
The structure of this web site reflects the goals of the Collaborative. In addition to specifying in detail the MLC philosophy and purpose, the site provides information about the collaborating researchers and collaborating museums, an online copy of the annotated literature database, and downloadable research reports and designs. The news and related links page disseminates current information about the project's activities and provides web links to related sites on the Internet.