What Is a Museum?


Museum is a place where artifacts are preserved and displayed, which in turn helps people understand the past. They are usually located in cities and have various programs that allow people to learn about the history of the world.

The origins of a museum may be traced to an innate human desire to collect, study, and display objects that are of significance. Evidence for such a propensity can be found in cave art of Paleolithic times, as well as in the collections and inscriptions of cave and early human-era civilizations.

There is also a growing recognition that museums need to be relevant and engaging to wider audiences, and not just to those who are already interested in the subject matter or those with a particular demographic profile. This has involved a significant rethinking of curatorial work and programming, as well as the development of new approaches to outreach.

One such approach has been a focus on social ‘impact’, with a particular emphasis on the contribution that museums can make to communities in a variety of ways. This has resulted in an increasing amount of attention to how museums can provide skills development, and support for vulnerable groups such as young carers or people with dementia.

This has meant that many museums are now offering services to these groups in order to help them to overcome disadvantages or achieve improved living conditions. Some museums are even attempting to develop and promote local cultures, through exhibitions that highlight the history of towns and regions that have been previously underserved by the wider cultural sector.

Another way in which museums have developed their ‘impact’ is by offering ‘educational’ services to the public, such as courses or workshops for children and adults. This can range from simple activities like drawing to more complex projects, such as the production of films and music.

These kinds of ‘educational’ activities can be conducted by volunteers, professional staff or paid assistants. They can be organised by a variety of institutions, and are often funded through the sale of tickets to the exhibit or the provision of free entry to the museum.

Those who work in museums are also often engaged in a large amount of research and conservation. This is because their work is not only important for the maintenance of the museum’s collection, but also for its presentation to the public.

In the field of museology, this is a body of academic research that explores the role of museums in society, and their relationship to other aspects of culture, such as the arts and education. It is an area of study that has grown gradually over the centuries.

The most famous of all museums is the Musée du Louvre, which houses paintings by Leonardo DaVinci and works from other great artists, including Velazquez, El Greco and Goya. Its collection is enormous and covers the whole world’s human history from ancient times to present day.

Some of the museum’s highlights include its striking Egyptian collection that includes coffins, mummies and jewelry; its library containing manuscripts from ancient Greece and Rome, and its impressive numismatics collection. In addition, there is a Maritime Museum for those with an interest in nautical history.