What Is a Museum?


A museum is a collection of artifacts, objects, or both held in care. These artifacts may be cultural or historical, and many public museums make these items available to the public for viewing. The museum may host a permanent or temporary exhibition. Depending on the museum’s mission, there may be a variety of different exhibits. There are many different types of museums, and the type of museum that you visit may vary in importance.

The purpose of a museum is to preserve and present primary tangible evidence from human history throughout the world. Unlike libraries, museum items are unique and represent raw material that allows researchers to study the past. They are often removed from their original context and communicate directly to the viewer. However, many museums are not strictly academic in nature. They may be religious, scientific, or historical. In any case, they are meant to provide a unique and enriching experience for visitors.

Using these data, the ICOM Define committee developed five definition proposals. The committee considered the results of Consultation 2 and 3 to determine which was the best. It then submitted the top two to the Advisory Council, which voted to approve one of the proposals. The proposal is then submitted for a vote at the next ICOM General Conference in 2022. However, the timeline for the ICOM Define process may be altered depending on the results of the consultations.

Changing times call for the evolution of museums. In a digital age, the museum must adapt to accommodate changing needs. Today, there are more immersive, social, and collaborative experiences than ever. Increasingly, museums use technology to make collections available to visitors from around the world. This allows visitors to engage more easily with the exhibits and learn about various scientific disciplines. Interactive media and digital guides are also making the museum more accessible to more people. Among the many exciting developments at the museum are the inclusion of virtual reality, digital guides, and even IMAX feature films, which offer a truly immersive experience to visitors of any age.

The concept of the museum has its origins in the classical era. The Greek word mouseion, which means “seat of the Muses,” was adopted into Latin and was used for philosophical debate during Roman times. The great Museum at Alexandria in Egypt, founded by Ptolemy I Soter in the third century bce, was more of a prototype university than a museum. The word museum returned to prominence during the Renaissance when it was used to describe Lorenzo de’ Medici’s collection in Florence. During the Renaissance, the word museum became more acceptable as it conveyed a sense of comprehensiveness.

Many cities have turned to museums as economic development vehicles for post-industrial regions. The Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain was constructed with the help of the Basque regional government. Bilbao was able to attract international tourists, primarily because the museum acted as a magnet for tourists. This project has paid off financially for the city. The Guggenheim Bilbao’s economic impact has been substantial for the city.