Museums all over the world have different purposes, and some are more prestigious than others. Some specialize in natural history, while others showcase contemporary art, technology, or social history. Some are even spectacular buildings. The past century has been especially busy for museums, and many people are drawn to them for a variety of reasons. In fact, they have become so popular that May 18 was designated International Museum Day, and over 120 countries recognize it and participate in celebrations.
Type specimens are stored in museums all over the world
Type specimens are a valuable source of information for scientists and educators. Along with taxonomic names, these specimens may also contain other information such as the collection event and resources. The project aims to digitize these materials in order to provide users with better access to them.
Digitally transforming these types of collections can result in a vast resource that addresses many environmental and human needs. For example, groups such as Biodiversity Collections Network envision an extended specimen network including digital data pertaining to trait data, linked data, and expanded metadata. However, the digitization of these specimens raises many challenges on different organizational levels and with different stakeholders.
Museums are centres for learning about diseases
Today, more museums are engaging in health-related activities and addressing pressing global health challenges. They are recognized as promising actors for health promotion and knowledge-transfer and are able to deliver meaningful learning experiences. These educational spaces can act as both authoritative authorities and prescriptions for action, providing access to knowledge about specific diseases and their causes.
Museums are also important learning centres about the history of diseases. Their collections are extensive and span centuries. There are over three billion preserved specimens in natural history museums from the Smithsonian to college museums. These collections contain vital information, such as the distribution of disease species throughout time and space.
They are cultural objects
Cultural objects are kept in museums around the world for a variety of reasons. For instance, artifacts from colonial times often end up in museums. Often, museums don’t know how they came to be there. It’s important for museum curators to give back stolen objects when possible. However, restitution is an uncharted territory. Although some court cases have resulted in hurt feelings, most cases end with museums getting their artifacts back.
While the purpose of a museum varies, many museums focus on education, while others emphasize conservation. One example is the Canada Science and Technology Museum, which aims to educate visitors while also displaying objects. A recent exhibit featured a historical printing press, which was used by staff members to make museum memorabilia. Another example is the LDS Church History Museum, which aims to collect and display significant objects of the church.
They are means for forming culture
A museum is a place that preserves and celebrates the past, while also charting the way towards a more modern society. The institution is a way to preserve the history of a society and its values, while at the same time helping to foster a global conversation about them.
To meet the changing needs of their audiences, museums are making use of new technologies, including fast network speeds and computational power. These advances allow museums to create immersive experiences that engage a broader audience. This technology, coupled with a shift towards audience insight, allows museums to rethink their role as repositories of culture.