The Definition of a Museum
A museum is a place where people can learn more about an important subject. Its purpose is to care for objects of cultural or historical value. A public museum usually has an exhibit on display. Some of these exhibits are permanent while others are temporary, ranging from the natural world to art. The purpose of a museum is to educate the public. Whether the exhibit is temporary or permanent, there is something to see. There are many types of museums.
The most commonly accepted definition of a museum dates to 2007 and includes the following: it is a permanent institution that is open to the public, acquires and communicates human heritage. The first definition of a museum was a Greek-language one, using the Greek word mouseion (meaning “seat of the Muses”). This version of a museum was more like an a prototype university than a museum. The term’museum’ was revived in 15th-century Europe to describe Lorenzo de’ Medici’s collection in Florence. This version was more accurate because it conveyed the idea of a collection that was comprehensive.
The ICOM definition of a museum is based on expressed needs and desires for consultation. Once the ICOM General Conference is held in 2022, the proposed definition will go before the ICOM. The process will consist of four consultation rounds, and consists of 11 steps. It will take 18 months to complete the process. The proposed schedule begins December 10, 2020, and ends in early May of 2022. The timeline may be altered depending on the circumstances.
Redefining the meaning of a museum is a major undertaking and is critical to the future of the field. In 2008, ICOM and the European Union adopted a new definition that emphasized the importance of democratization, critical dialogue, social justice, and planetary wellbeing. The proposal included the importance of a sense of community and the role of museums in society. The definition is essential, but the process is often a lengthy and confusing process.
In 2019, the ICOM General Conference discussed the definition of a museum and the different types of museums. The definition of a museum is a vital part of the development of the sector. It has the power to shape the future of the world. A museum that serves its community, the public, and the planet will continue to grow and prosper. It will continue to grow in size as the years go by. The goal of a museum is to preserve and share knowledge about the past.
The definition of a museum differs from a library in several ways. A library is an institution dedicated to preserving primary evidence, while a museum focuses on archiving historical documents. For example, a library contains books. A museum holds a large database of items that are no longer relevant to the present. A museum also preserves the memories of people who have been physically present. However, a museum is not a “museum” if it exists.