What Is a Museum?


A museum is a collection of objects and artifacts that are kept in a museum for public display. Large museums are generally located in major cities, but there are also many local museums throughout the world. Today, the traditional museum model is undergoing a revolution as technology and digitization accelerate. Virtual exhibits and high-resolution images of collections are increasingly common. In Mexico City alone, there are more than one hundred museums. But what exactly is a museum?

The definition of a museum is often debated. Some people see a museum as an institution that exhibits artifacts, while others think of a museum as an organization that works with social issues and promotes understanding of various topics. The American Alliance of Museums has developed a set of standards that help guide the management of a museum. One of the most important principles is to promote diversity in the field of museums. While the American Alliance of Museums offers a definition of a museum, it is the governing body that ultimately determines what a museum is and what it does.

Although all museums have an inspirational intent, not all do so. Many visitors to a museum are simply “rechargers” while others seek out a deeply inspirational experience. In response to this need, the field of museums has taken a serious interest in fostering deep audience engagement and participation. By examining the characteristics of museum-goers and the types of experiences they seek, the field is taking steps to ensure that museum-goers get the most out of their visits.

Another example of a museum’s visitor behavior is to avoid touching works of art. Touch can damage stone or metal. Keep a safe distance when approaching works of art. For the sake of your own safety, it is also recommended that you take a pencil instead of a pen when writing on objects. Pencils are easier to remove than ink, so make sure to use them. Finally, do not point with objects – this may endanger works of art.

A museum can promote unity on a social and political level. Local museums provide a sense of place and community, and help people learn about their history. They can even foster unity and community spirit among members of different ethnic groups. The purpose of a museum can vary from institution to institution. Some prefer to focus on education over conservation, as in the case of Canada Science and Technology Museum, which focused on displaying objects as well as their functions. Other museums focus on reaching a broad audience, while others focus on a specific group. For example, the LDS Church History Museum collects significant objects from the church’s history.

Another type of museum is the pop-up museum. These institutions are temporary exhibitions whose success depends on the participation of its visitors. They use visitors to help construct shared historical authority. Most pop-up museums are focused on science and history. They began as static displays, but have since evolved into interactive experiences. So, even if you don’t have the time to attend a museum, you can make it a family trip with your family.