Material Culture Review Revue de la culture matérielle

Managing editor(s): Ilaria Battiloro (Editor-in-Chief) / Editor(s): Sveva Savelli (Associate Editor), Margaryta Golovchenko (Associate Editor), Samantha Ruckenstein (Associate Editor)


Journal Mandate

Material Culture Review/Revue de la culture matérielle (MCR/RCM) is Canada's only scholarly journal dedicated to the study of material culture. It documents cultural artifacts, describing their historical contexts and roles in society. MCR/RCM provides a venue for refereed articles and research reports encompassing a range of approaches to interpreting culture and history through an analysis of people's relationships to their material world. Critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and historic sites, artifact studies and reports on collections encourage the use of material evidence in understanding historical change and continuity. Material culture––objects or things––is the common thread that connects the submissions in each issue of Material Culture Review/Revue de la culture matérielle.

The journal is published twice annually (spring and fall) and invites submissions of new research on material culture and its related topics from the fields of cultural history, public history, art history, cultural geography, folklore and/or ethnology, archaeology, anthropology, architecture, and museum, conservation and heritage studies. The editors encourage submissions from scholars at any phase of their career, curators and professionals from the museum and heritage world, and from independent scholars with an interest in material culture. Papers may be submitted in English or French languages.


MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association) | CPI.Q (Canadian Periodical Index) | America: History and Life | Historical Abstracts (Online) | Academic OneFile | Book Review Index Plus | Expanded Academic ASAP | General OneFile | PubMed | CBCA Reference (Canadian Business and Current Affairs) | Google Scholar among others.

Journal History

Material Culture Review/Revue de la culture matérielle has an over forty-year history of disseminating Canadian and International research in the interdisciplinary field of material culture studies. The journal began through the efforts of Canadian museum professionals following a national material culture conference held in Ottawa in November of 1975. This was a period when historians and social scientists were questioning old methods and orientations and beginning to better understand the power of everyday objects in democratizing history and revealing the lives and stories of ordinary people. The founding members were confident that the journal would encourage the incorporation of artifacts into general historiography and encourage a more refined use of material evidence within museum contexts.
First published in 1976 as Material History Bulletin by the National Museum of Man (later called the Canadian Museum of Civilization and now called the Canadian Museum of History), by the mid-1980s the journal was co-published with the National Museum of Science and Technology (NMST), now known as the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology. By 1990 the NMST assumed sole responsibility for the Material History Bulletin. This transition marked an important juncture in the life of the journal as several changes were made to its editorial structure. First, the name of the journal was changed to Material History Review/Revue d’histoire matérielle, since “bulletin” gave the impression of a newsletter rather than a serious and credible scholarly journal. Second, the content of the journal expanded to include more fields relating to the study of material objects, such as art history, architectural history, ethnology, and historical and cultural geography. Lastly, the editorial board of the journal changed to include more representation from the university community. In 1997, North American material culture specialist, Dr. Gerald L. Pocius, became the first editor affiliated with a university rather than a museum.

In 2006, Cape Breton University Press began producing the journal, and the name was changed to Material Culture Review/Revue de la culture matérielle in order to better reflect the journal’s increased focus on contemporary and ethnographic, as well as historical, studies of the material world. Dr Richard MacKinnon, former Tier One Canada Research Chair in Intangible Cultural Heritage at Cape Breton University, served as Editor-in-Chief between 2009 and 2020.

In December 2020, the journal moved to the Visual and Material Culture Studies program at Mount Allison University, under the editorship of Dr Ilaria Battiloro. 







Back issues (19 issues)

Editorial policy and ethics

Editorial and Advisory Board Mandate

The Editorial and Advisory Board of Material Culture Review / Revue de la culture matérielle is committed to improving the journal’s accessibility, popularity, and administration. The following mandate outlines policies and procedures that helps assure the continued success of MCR/RCM:

Admittance to the Board and Length of Term
Editorial and Advisory Board members serve a three-year term, at the end of which their position may be renewed for an additional three years. Membership renewal is conditional to the member’s adherence to the policies and regulations outlined in the MCR/RCM Editorial and Advisory Board Mandate.

Roles and Responsibilities of Editorial and Advisory Board Members
1) Board members will help generate interest in the journal, encourage submissions and subscriptions and suggest themes for special issues.

2) Board members will peer review articles and suggest peer reviewers to the Editor-in-Chief.

3) Board members will meet via conference call twice a year. The Editor-in-Chief will be responsible for arranging meetings and setting the meeting agenda.

4) Board members will work to create and implement all policies of MCR/RCM and will play an active role in the journal’s ongoing development.

If you are interested in serving on the MCR/RCM Editorial or Advisory Board, please contact the Editor-in-Chief for more information.

Peer Review Process

Peer review is a crucial part of the MCR/RCM publication process.

The editorial assistant of MCR/RCM receives electronic submissions and a confirmation of receipt is acknowledged. The submission is then forwarded to the Editor-in-Chief who determines if the submission fits the journal’s publication scope. The Editor-in-Chief then identifies peer reviewers that have expertise in the field of study of the submission. The Editor-in-Chief uses the expertise and advice of the Editorial and Advisory Board members in selecting peer reviewers. Advisory Board members often serve as peer reviewers. Reviewers are also sought through scholarly networks and Internet searches. All peer reviewers are expected to be well qualified, typically PhDs or acknowledged experts in the particular subject area.

Once reviewers are selected, the editorial assistant begins correspondence with potential peer reviewers. Once the reviewers have been confirmed, the editorial assistant sends the manuscript, review instructions, and assessment form via email to the reviewers for blind assessment. Peer reviewers are expected to complete their assessments in a timely way. If the peer reviewer does not complete a review in 3 months following receipt, then a new peer reviewer is sought.

The comments and suggestions for revisions made by the reviewers are returned to the editorial assistant, who forwards them to the Editor-in-Chief. On the basis of the comments, the Editor-in-Chief decides whether or not the submission is acceptable for publication. If acceptable, the comments and suggested revisions are returned to the author who has an opportunity to revise for publication. If unacceptable after revision, the Editor-in-Chief corresponds with the author on this matter. Because the journal is bilingual, the Associate Editor, normally based at a Canadian French language university, receives the French language submissions and follows the same process outlined above.

Each article typically has two peer reviewers; when peer reviewers are not in agreement, the editor asks a third peer reviewer to make a judgement on the submission. Peer reviewers are sought for both articles and research reports. Reviewers receive masked submissions, with the author’s name and any identifying information removed. The review process is also blind, with all identities of any reviewers masked in all communication.

Peer reviewers are expected to submit clear and detailed notes suggesting modifications to the articles regarding argument, style, literature, and structure that will ultimately strengthen the submission if followed by the author. Most, if not all submissions require revisions from the author; some are extensive and some are minor.

Copyright Policy

No part of works published by Cape Breton University Press may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or retention on any information storage retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Responsibility for the research and the permissions obtained for this publication rests with the authors.

Information for contributors


Material Culture Review / Revue de la culture matérielle (MCR/RCM) invites submissions of new research on material culture and its related topics from the fields of cultural history, public history, art history, cultural geography, folklore and ethnology, archaeology, anthropology, architecture, and museum, conservation and heritage studies. The editors encourage submissions from scholars at any phase of their career, curators and professionals from the museum and heritage world, and from independent scholars with an interest in material culture. Papers may be submitted in English or French languages. Additionally, the editors are currently interested in developing theme issues. Scholars interested in guest-editing a theme issue are invited to submit a proposal to the editors.

Works submitted will be categorized as:

  • articles (roughly speaking, 20-30 double-spaced pages, including endnotes)
  • research reports (10-20 pages, including endnotes)
  • exhibit reviews (10-15 pages, including endnotes)
  • research notes (5-10 pages)
  • book reviews (notes and comments less than 5 pages)

Both articles and research reports are peer-reviewed.

Manuscripts should be submitted as a Word file to the Editor-in-Chief following the journal's style guide for anonymous evaluation, generally by two referees. Please contact the editor for the journal style guide. Generally, the journal follows Chicago Author-Date style. To ensure anonymity, any identifying information from the paper must be removed. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce material from copyrighted works, including illustrations.

Please note that in many situations, French language submissions will not be able to follow the journal's style guide. The French language copy editor will work with francophone authors to ensure stylistic and grammatical clarity.



Illustrations are considered an integral part of the journal. The number of illustrations will vary according to category. Most articles, research reports, and exhibition reviews contain between 5 and 10 photographs. The editor should be consulted if an article or research report is expected to contain more than 10 photographs or 5 graphs and tables. Illustrations are generally not included in book reviews. Images should not be embedded in the document. Instead, indicate their placement in the text with a figure number. For example: (Fig. 5). A separate list of captions, including any image credits, must be submitted as a separate Word file. Images must be clear, crisp and no smaller than 300 dpi for photographs and 1200 dpi for maps or drawings. All images should be submitted in .tif format by email to: [email protected].  If image files are too large to attach by email, upload via Wetransfer, Dropbox, Google Drive link or mail in CD format.


Correspondence concerning contributions, author guidelines, and editorial matters should be addressed to:

Material Culture Review/ Revue de la culture matérielle Mount Allison University, 62 York St., Sackville, New Brunswick E4L 1E2 / [email protected]

Editorial board

Editorial Board

Ilaria Battiloro
Mount Allison University

Associate Editors
Sveva Savelli

Saint Mary's University


Samantha Ruckenstein

McGill University


Margaryta Golovchenko

University of Oregon


Advisory Board











Dell Upton, UCLA