A museum is usually an establishment that preserves a collection of objects and artifacts of varying historical, artistic, linguistic, cultural and scientific value. Most public museums make these valuable items readily available to the public through temporary or permanent exhibits which can be either temporary or permanent. Most museums also have collections that span a wide range of disciplines and focus on any range of subject matters such as art, history, technology, and applied science. The main components of a museum are its collection of objects and artifacts, its management, research activities, and its presentation.
An institution that enforces strict standards of excellence and serves as a repository for information about humanity and displays and educates about the past are considered museums. Exhibitions, research, and maintenance of a museum are the most important activities performed by it. Other significant activities include coordinating activities of various government offices and commissioning organizations responsible for maintaining and improving the country’s museums.
The definition of a museum can also include a collection of any item that inspires the imagination and inspires research and learning. In order for the collection to be categorized as a museum, it should be supported by extensive research, protection and management, and display and access control. It should be able to withstand the test of time and be an enduring learning experience. A museum is defined as a non-profit institution that promotes knowledge, inspires future studies, provides information and helps preserve the heritage of humanity.
It was first used in the 1810s by British philosopher defined the meaning of the term “muse.” Museums have since then been recognized as an independent category in terms of both content and function. With the inclusion of the word “intangible heritage” in the UNESCO dictionary in 1988, the definition of the word has changed slightly. Although the use of the word “personality” remains integral to the overall understanding of the concept, the definition is now more inclusive and includes a broader definition encompassing a collection of artistic works, educational resources, records, etc. In the Collins Definition of Museum, the use of human-made artifacts is the only defining characteristic, thus museums are non-profit educational institutions designed to promote knowledge, history and culture.
Currently, the proposal definition is proposed to: “A collection of objects, whether on loan from a source outside the individual’s physical location or acquired through a process of investment and acquisition, intended for display as part of the curriculum of a school, museum, college or university.” To enhance the effectiveness of the definition in determining eligibility for funding, it is important to consider the specific purposes for which the collection is placed. Is the proposed definition of a museum intended to support research and teaching, or is the goal to display art or cultural items as curiosities? Furthermore, museums with conventional purposes tend to fall under one of the four main types of museums described by Collins, each of which has different criteria for eligibility and support.
According to Collins, these types of museums are: natural history museums, professional museums, classroom museums, research museums, and professional libraries. Within each of these categories, there are subtypes: professional collections, applied research museum, children’s museum, and student museum. The scope and type of museum described by Collins makes it easier for both individual museums and organizations to determine eligibility, while making it much easier to apply for funds for museum projects. With the increasing emphasis placed on supporting comprehensive museum collections, including those defined by Collins, it is hopeful that this effort will be successful in the future.