A museum is an institution that preserves, exhibits, and interprets collections of scientific and cultural significance. The ICOM defines a museum as a permanent institution dedicated to the display and conservation of collections. ICOM lists several categories of museums, according to Elaine Heumann Gurian. Some focus on objects, while others emphasize the nation state. This list is not definitive and is meant to be a guide, not a rule. But it is useful for planning an educational visit.
The ICOM definition is similar to that of the Museum Association, but stresses the work museums do to benefit the public. The ICOM definition emphasizes the value and role of museums in society. In the United States, there are about 3,700 museums, whereas only two million are registered with ICOM. This list should be helpful in selecting a museum to visit. For more information, visit the ICOM website. And be sure to follow their social media accounts.
The ICOM has many members. Several countries are represented in ICOM. Some of these organizations are international and regional. There are also national committees within the organization. The international committees and affiliated organizations also participate in ICOM’s activities. The standing committee on museum definitions was first convened in 1988 and has been in existence for almost four decades. The new name is ICOM Define. But the purpose of a museum is to preserve artifacts and related knowledge, and to spread understanding and appreciation of different cultures.
ICOM’s International Committee on Museums (ICOM) aims to create a universal definition of a museum. This committee has consulted with member organizations, but has made little progress. The French branch of ICOM held a meeting on the ICOM definition in November. But the group heard the same objections from European countries. In June, the chair of the committee resigned. Despite the delays, the committee’s report is still considered a positive step forward.
The ICOM definition of a museum differs from the definitions of other organizations. The ICOM definition focuses on the work a museum does for its community and the importance of the museum’s mission. The ICOM is an international organization and its members are members of national and international committees. The mission of a national or local museum is to promote its community and its achievements. For that, it is essential to make a museum known.
The committee has established four rounds of consultations. The next step is to determine a definition for the museum. This is a long and difficult process. The committee will need to decide upon a universal definition for a museum, based on a variety of factors, including the nature of the museum. The definition of a museum will influence the way people experience the institution and how they interact with it. There are no limits on what a museum should be, but a good way to define a museum is to consider diversity.