Museums can be described as places where art and science are displayed and studied for education. The idea of a museum began with the philosopher Aristotle, who traveled to the island of Lesbos in the 340s BCE with his disciple Theophrastus. Together, they collected and studied botanical specimens. Their studies laid the foundation for empirical methodology and the concept of systematic collection. Aristotle’s school of philosophy in Athens included a library and mouseion.
Museum history exhibits play an important role in transmitting historical knowledge and often engage a wide variety of audiences. In particular, some museum history exhibits commemorate important historical events or social injustices. Such exhibits usually contain an interpretative component that implies judgments about the causes and effects of events, which can engender debate. Attempts to limit or suppress these exhibits should be resisted.
A museum’s collections are an important resource, and it is vital to preserve them in good condition. However, the costs of maintaining and cataloging these collections can be very expensive. Several studies have shown that museums with large collections often find themselves in a difficult position. They must decide if the objects in their collections are worth keeping and if they should be discarded or donated.
Directorships in museum history typically require a strong academic background, but there are several other entry points. Fundraising clubs, for example, offer experience in managing a variety of projects, and participating in a museum’s board of directors gives candidates an excellent introduction to the field. Presidentships of these clubs can also help build supervisory skills and allow you to delegate authority to others.
The number of people employed in museums is expected to grow 12 percent over the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. During this time, there are expected to be about 4,700 new openings per year in this occupation, with openings mostly coming from workers leaving the labor force, transferring to other fields, or retiring. These projections are based on a comparison of the number of jobs in this occupation with similar occupations.
A panel discussion will consider how the museum can engage with local history and social roles. Museums play an important role in local development and are important actors in issues related to migration, human rights, human memory, and local cohesion. These topics may include the museum’s role in the contemporary humanitarian crisis.