What Is a Museum?


A museum is a place where artifacts are preserved and displayed for public viewing. Many museums also provide programs and activities for people of all ages and interests.

A Museum (from Greek mouseion, meaning a place or temple dedicated to the Muses) is an institution that collects, preserves, and interprets items of cultural, artistic, historical, and scientific significance. They can be small or large, and are often located in cities throughout the world.

The most famous and most visited of all museums is the Louvre in Paris, which has a staggering collection of over eight million works of art. It houses a mix of ancient and contemporary art from all over the globe and is widely considered to be one of the greatest museums in the world.

Other popular museums include the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, and the British Museum in London.

Most museums have a specific purpose and are designed to tell a story, a theme, or a set of ideas. Some focus on the history of a region, while others are more general in their scope and celebrate different aspects of human culture.

Museums may be permanent or temporary, and have multiple exhibits that change regularly. They typically have a staff of professionals and administrators who work on their collections and their display.

Some museums specialize in a particular area of culture, such as the National Museum of Ireland, which is known for its fine arts collections. Other types of museums include natural history, science, technology, and children’s museums.

They may also have an extensive research and education division that provides tours and educational resources to the public. These departments are usually led by a director or an administrator who oversees all the activities related to the museum’s collections and exhibitions.

Historically, museums have been built and managed by individuals or groups in private settings. However, many have since been opened to the public and are now major tourist attractions.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is one organization that offers a definition for what a museum is. ICOM’s definition is based on the concept that a museum “serves the public good by providing access to artefacts, specimens, and other cultural and social heritage.”

Most museums have a board of directors or trustees that is responsible for the collection and upkeep of the museum’s collections. Generally, these boards are made up of members from the community and the professional museum world.

These museums can be permanent or temporary, and most are open to the public. They usually have a professional staff of curators, historians, and art historians who are responsible for the care and preservation of their collections.

They can be located in large urban areas or smaller towns, and may have a number of different exhibits that are changing regularly. They often have a program for the public that includes lectures, films, and other educational activities.

Despite their diverse purposes, most museums serve as a cultural focal point for the local community. They are also sometimes used to stimulate economic development or revitalize historic districts.