Today, museums are becoming more than places to learn about art and history. They have become destinations for social, collaborative, and immersive learning. Advances in technology have made museums accessible and more interactive than ever. These advances include virtual reality, apps, and digital trails. There’s no end to the ways museums are evolving to meet the needs of everyone, from young children to adults. So what can museums do to keep up with these changes? Here are a few ideas for how to improve the way you experience museums:
Many museums acquire objects for their collections. They may organize expeditions to collect more artifacts or objects. They may also receive donations and bequests. The larger museums usually have a separate staff devoted to acquisitions. Museums can be either private or governmental. Often, museums cooperate with other institutions to sponsor joint exhibits. These exhibits are usually time-limited and require a small additional fee for admission. These joint exhibits also provide important education and insight about the history of a specific region.
Another important purpose of museums is to educate. By visiting a museum, visitors can gain a new perspective on a particular period in human history. They can see how cultures evolved, how human beings interacted with their surroundings, and how their environment changed over time. Many museums aim to reach a broad audience, while others have narrower goals. The LDS Church History Museum, for example, collects significant objects and keeps them in their collections.
ICOM defines museums as permanent institutions dedicated to the conservation and display of collections of cultural or scientific importance. The organization provides a definition and suggests categories to classify museums. Some focus on objects, others prioritize the nation state. But these categories are not final, and they’re only meant to be guidelines. The process of definitioning a museum is a complex one that has not been perfected. So how can we make sure we’re making the right choice for our organization?
The term “museum” has an ancient origin. In ancient Greece, it was linked to the Muses, and it referred to a building dedicated to the arts and study. From there, it grew to mean “place for learning” and became an important term in the English language. Eventually, it became the most common way to refer to a museum. It has since been applied to art collections around the world. If you’re unsure of what it means, ask a local art historian.
Museums serve the public by preserving objects and artifacts of all kinds. While most large museums are located in larger cities, small towns and villages have their own museums. As the digitization of museums increases, they are also expanding into the virtual world by incorporating high-resolution images of collections. Regardless of their size, museums serve as both research and educational spaces. And they’re becoming increasingly important. In fact, Mexico City is home to more than one hundred and twenty-eight museums.