Museology 101 – The Five Main Purposes of Museums


The term museum is derived from nine classical Greek muses. While the famed “Museion” of ancient Alexandria was more of a library than a place to display objects, the word still evokes the idea of a museum. Historically, the earliest museum, scholars agree, was in the 17th or 18th century in Europe. Other examples of museums include ancient Rome’s public squares, medieval church treasuries for sacred objects, and traditional Japanese shrines, which hung small paintings on their walls in order to draw good fortune.

Institutions that preserve art, artifacts and sculptures for the betterment of society

Museums are institutions that exhibit, collect, and preserve art, artifacts, and sculptures for the betterment of society. These institutions’ primary mission is to preserve art and culture for society, and they carry out this mission through exhibitions, tours, lectures, cultural programs, and virtual exhibits. The study of museums is called museology. The field of museology encompasses all aspects of the art and history of a culture, and the art, architecture, and culture that represents it.

Purposes of museums

What are the purposes of museums? Historically, museums have served to preserve, document, research, exhibit, and communicate cultural heritage. Today, museums must also address urgent problems, such as climate change, as well as acknowledge societal inequalities, asymmetries of power, and diversity. The following are five of the most common purposes of museums. Listed below are a few examples of each purpose. In addition, there are other, less common, purposes of museums.

Collections of museums

Museums are distinguished by their collections. The collections are the core of museum activities, including research, exhibitions, and education. Each museum is unique and possesses a significant collection of objects of cultural, natural, and historical interest. Museums collect and display objects to help people learn about their heritage and to explore their creative talents. The collections are often the source of museum income, so ensuring they are preserved for future generations is crucial. Here are some useful tips for finding museums near you.

Nonprofit status of museums

The nonprofit status of a museum allows it to accept tax-deductible donations while earning money. However, it is not possible for a museum to share its profits with its owners. To be considered nonprofit, the museum must register with the state government. Once the museum has received the appropriate nonprofit status, it must hire directors, raise the necessary funds, and choose a location. The following are some tips for a museum to become nonprofit.

Evolution of museum theory

There are many ways to conceptualize the museum. The Euro-American art museum is a compelling example. But what about other types of museum collections? And what can new concepts do for our understanding of museum collections? Here are some suggestions to help you think about the evolution of museum theory. Here’s a brief overview of the theory. And if you’re still wondering, “What is a museum anyway?” you’re not alone. Many other fields are experiencing similar shifts, too.