Museums collect and make important objects accessible to the public. The world’s largest museums are found in major cities, while smaller regional museums serve their local communities. In addition to collecting objects, museums also provide educational and entertainment programs for diverse audiences. Programs may include lectures by museum faculty, field-specific tutorials, films, musical and dance performances, and technological demonstrations. Many museums are cultural institutions and focus on local cultures and history. Depending on the theme, a visit to a museum can involve a trip to a cultural heritage site.
The concept of the museum is based on the human propensity to acquire and inquire. Early evidence of museums dates back to Paleolithic burials, where people collected items and made collections for later use. These early museums also shared what they learned with others. The National Mall contains a variety of museum types. Nonprofit museums, which are classified as charitable corporations, are exempt from most taxes and invest any profit in their organization. On the other hand, private for-profit museums pay their shareholders and owners.
A committee was formed to come up with a universal definition for museums. The committee spent months talking to 900 members, including African museum directors, and received 269 submissions. After a series of meetings, it had little success in coming up with a consensus. Some countries objected to the new definition, and a new committee was set up to work on it. In the end, it chose only one of the five proposals it received. The final proposal was only 99 words and two paragraphs long. It has been widely disapproved in many regions around the world, but did not go down well in some countries.
The goal of a museum is to preserve and interpret the material evidence of human activity and culture. It is vital that museums engage with ‘hard-to-reach’ communities and develop new audiences. This has implications for both curatorial work and programming. To succeed, they must be inclusive, welcoming, and relevant to the communities they serve. And that means making them more accessible to the general public. So, how do we make a museum more accessible and diverse?
The new definition is based on inputs from consultations. The next consultation, which will take place in December 2020, will seek to incorporate the feedback from all stakeholders. This consultation will consist of four rounds of consultations, and eleven steps. The process will last about 18 months. The proposed schedule will begin December 10 and end in early May 2022. The schedule for this process can change, however, depending on the circumstances. If a change in the definition is needed, the process will continue.
There are several steps to begin the process of building a museum. First, you must identify the type of museum you want to start. A small-town museum may be perfect for those who want to showcase local heritage or local history. Small-town museums can help the local economy, attract tourists, and educate young people. By following a guide, starting a museum in a small town may be a great way to explore a passion and build a vibrant community.