Monday, March 7, 2016

Victor Danilov wrote the book on halls of fame

In my research on halls of fame, I learned through Google Books about the 1997 book “Hall of Fame Museums: A Reference Guide” by Victor J. Danilov.
His book appears to be the last comprehensive reference guide to halls of fame produced.
Before his tome, the last major work on the subject was published 20 years earlier. That earlier guide was “The Big Book of Halls of Fame in the United States and Canada” (1977) by Paul Soderberg and Helen Washington.
Danilov was the director and/or president of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago for 15 years, and the founder and director of the Museum Management Program at the University of Colorado from 1988 to 2003. He was the author of more than two dozen books, mostly on the museum field.
Next year will be the 20-year anniversary of Danilov’s book, so it might be time for a new reference guide. But given the state of book publishing, such a work might be an online-only reference. The closest I’ve seen to that is the listing of halls of fame on Wikipedia. But it is incomplete.
Danilov’s book listed some 274 hall of fame museums and exhibits located at 242 sites in 11 countries. Some sites housed more than one hall of fame. He also included walks of fame and stadium rings of fame.
Looking at just hall of fame museums in North America, I counted 213 sites in the Danilov book. (I excluded three that I didn’t consider to be true halls of fame.) Of those, 60 are now closed, or 28% of the total from 1997.
But a lot of new ones have popped up in the last 19 years.
My current list of halls of fame in North America has over 300 museums and exhibits you can physically visit.

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