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A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that cares for and displays a
collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * Collection agency, agency to collect cash * Collections management (museum) ** Collection (artwork), objects in a particular field fo ...
of artifacts and other objects of
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use o ...

art
istic,
cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior among two or more organisms within the same species, and encompasses any behavior in which one member affects the other. This is due to an int ...

cultural
,
historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems ar ...

historical
, or
scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a statement of fac ...

scientific
importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through
exhibits An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting such as a museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, r ...

exhibits
that may be permanent or temporary. The largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from the conservation and documentation of their collection, serving researchers and specialists to catering to the general public. The goal of serving researchers is not only scientific, but intended to serve the
general public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people A people is a plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, moralit ...
. There are many types of museums, including
art museums An art museum is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own Collection (artwork), collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be accessible to all or have restrictions in place. Although primari ...
,
natural history museums Skeletons of '' Shunosaurus'' (left) and ''Giganotosaurus'' (right) in the Natural History Museum of Helsinki">Finnish Museum of Natural History The Finnish Museum of Natural History ( fi, Luonnontieteellinen keskusmuseo, sv, Naturhistoriska c ...
,
science museums A science museum is a museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is an institution that Preservation (library and archival science), cares for (conserves) a collection (artwork), collection of artifacts and other objects of ar ...
,
war museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is an institution that Preservation (library and archival science), cares for (conserves) a collection (artwork), collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, culture, cultural, histo ...

war museum
s, and
children's museumsImage:Buell Childrens Museum by David Shankbone.jpg, The Buell Children's Museum in Pueblo, Colorado was ranked #2 children's art museum in the United States by ''Child Magazine''. Children's museums are institutions that provide exhibits and progra ...
. According to the
International Council of Museums The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is a non-governmental organization, non-governmental organisation dedicated to museums, maintaining formal relations with UNESCO and having a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Soci ...
(ICOM), there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries.


Etymology

The English "museum" comes from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
word, and is pluralized as "museums" (or rarely, "musea"). It is originally from the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
Μουσεῖον ('' Mouseion''), which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the
muse In ancient Greek religion Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs, rituals, and Greek mythology, mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and Cult (religious practice), cult practi ...

muse
s (the patron divinities in
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psyc ...
of the arts), and hence was a building set apart for study and the arts, especially the
Musaeum Image:ancientlibraryalex.jpg, The Ancient Library of Alexandria. The Musaeum or Mouseion at Alexandria ( grc, Μουσεῖον τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας), which included the famous Library of Alexandria, was an institution said to have be ...
(institute) for
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
and research at
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; : Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the in after and , in , and a major economic centre. With a total population of 5,200,000, Alexandria is the ...

Alexandria
, built under
Ptolemy I Soter Ptolemy I Soter (; gr, Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, ''Ptolemaîos Sōtḗr'' "Ptolemy the Savior"; c. 367 BC – January 282 BC) was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδ ...
about 280 BC.


Purpose

The purpose of modern museums is to collect, preserve, interpret, and display objects of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the study and
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
of the public. From a visitor or community perspective, this purpose can also depend on one's point of view. A trip to a local history museum or large city art museum can be an entertaining and enlightening way to spend the day. To city leaders, an active museum community can be seen as a gauge of the cultural or economic health of a city, and a way to increase the sophistication of its inhabitants. To a museum professional, a museum might be seen as a way to educate the public about the museum's mission, such as
civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights Rights are legal Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', ...
or
environmentalism Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical real ...
. Museums are, above all, storehouses of knowledge. In 1829, James Smithson's bequest, that would fund the
Smithsonian Institution The Smithsonian Institution ( ), or simply, the Smithsonian, is a group of museums and education and research centers, the largest such complex in the world, created by the U.S. government "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge". Founded ...

Smithsonian Institution
, stated he wanted to establish an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge". Museums of natural history in the late 19th century exemplified the scientific desire for classification and for interpretations of the world. Gathering all examples for each field of knowledge for research and display was the purpose. As American colleges grew in the 19th century, they developed their own natural history collections for the use of their students. By the last quarter of the 19th century, scientific research in universities was shifting toward biological research on a cellular level, and cutting-edge research moved from museums to university laboratories. While many large museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, are still respected as research centers, research is no longer a main purpose of most museums. While there is an ongoing debate about the purposes of interpretation of a museum's collection, there has been a consistent mission to protect and preserve
cultural artifact Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling diff ...
s for future generations. Much care, expertise, and expense is invested in preservation efforts to retard
decomposition Decomposition is the process by which dead organic substance , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds com ...
in aging documents, artifacts, artworks, and buildings. All museums display objects that are important to a culture. As historian Steven Conn writes, "To see the thing itself, with one's own eyes and in a public place, surrounded by other people having some version of the same experience, can be enchanting." Museum purposes vary from institution to institution. Some favor education over conservation, or vice versa. For example, in the 1970s, the
Canada Science and Technology Museum The Canada Science and Technology Museum (french: Musée des sciences et de la technologie du Canada) is located in Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connectio ...

Canada Science and Technology Museum
favored education over preservation of their objects. They displayed objects as well as their functions. One exhibit featured a historical printing press that a staff member used for visitors to create museum memorabilia. Some museums seek to reach a wide audience, such as a national or state museum, while others have specific audiences, like the LDS
Church History Museum The Church History Museum, formerly the Museum of Church History and Art, is the premier museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is an institution that Preservation (library and archival science), cares for (conserves) a coll ...
or local history organizations. Generally speaking, museums collect objects of significance that comply with their mission statement for conservation and display. Although most museums do not allow physical contact with the associated artifacts, there are some that are interactive and encourage a more hands-on approach. In 2009,
Hampton Court Palace Hampton Court Palace is a Listed building, Grade I listed royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, south west and upstream of central London on the River Thames. Building of the palace began in 1514 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey ...

Hampton Court Palace
, a palace of
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fro ...
, in England opened the council room to the general public to create an interactive environment for visitors. Rather than allowing visitors to handle 500-year-old objects, however, the museum created replicas, as well as replica costumes. The daily activities, historic clothing, and even temperature changes immerse the visitor in an impression of what
Tudor Tudor most commonly refers to: * House of Tudor, English royal house of Welsh origins ** Tudor period, a historical era in England coinciding with the rule of the Tudor dynasty Tudor may also refer to: Architecture * Tudor architecture, the fi ...
life may have been.


Definitions by major museum professional organizations

Major museum professional organizations from around the world offer some definitions as to what a museum is and their purpose. Common themes in all the definitions are public good and care, preservation, and interpretation of collections. The
International Council of Museums The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is a non-governmental organization, non-governmental organisation dedicated to museums, maintaining formal relations with UNESCO and having a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Soci ...
' current definition of a museum (adopted in 1970): "A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study, and enjoyment." A proposed change to this definition, which would have museums actively engage with political and social issues, was postponed in 2020 after substantial opposition from ICOM members. The
Canadian Museums Association The Canadian Museums Association (CMA) is a national non-profit organization for the promotion of museums in Canada. It represents Canadian museum professionals both within Canada and internationally. As with most trade association A trade ass ...
's definition: "A museum is a non-profit, permanent establishment, that does not exist primarily for the purpose of conducting temporary exhibitions and that is open to the public during regular hours and administered in the public interest for the purpose of conserving, preserving, studying, interpreting, assembling and exhibiting to the public for the instruction and enjoyment of the public, objects and specimens or educational and cultural value including artistic, scientific, historical and technological material." The United Kingdom’s
Museums Association The Museums Association (MA) is a professional membership organisation based in London for museum, gallery and heritage professionals, museums, galleries and heritage organisations, and companies that work in the museum, gallery and heritage sec ...
's definition: "Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. They are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artifacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society." While the
American Alliance of Museums The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), formerly the American Association of Museums, is a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entit ...
does not have a definition their list of accreditation criteria to participate in their Accreditation Program states a museum must: "Be a legally organized nonprofit institution or part of a nonprofit organization or government entity; Be essentially educational in nature; Have a formally stated and approved mission; Use and interpret objects or a site for the public presentation of regularly scheduled programs and exhibits; Have a formal and appropriate program of documentation, care, and use of collections or objects; Carry out the above functions primarily at a physical facility or site; Have been open to the public for at least two years; Be open to the public at least 1,000 hours a year; Have accessioned 80 percent of its permanent collection; Have at least one paid professional staff with museum knowledge and experience; Have a full-time director to whom authority is delegated for day-to-day operations; Have the financial resources sufficient to operate effectively; Demonstrate that it meets the Core Standards for Museums; Successfully complete the Core Documents Verification Program" Additionally a there is a legal definition of museum in United States legislation in the authorizing the establishment of the
Institute of Museum and Library Services The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is an Independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the United States federal government established in 1996. It is the main source of federal support for libraries ...
: "Museum means a public, tribal, or private nonprofit institution which is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational, cultural heritage, or aesthetic purposes and which, using a professional staff: Owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; Cares for these objects; and Exhibits them to the general public on a regular basis." (Museum Services Act 1976)


History


Ancient history

One of the oldest museums known is
Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum is thought by some historians to be the first museum, although this is speculative. It dates to circa 530 BCE. The curator was Ennigaldi ("Ennigaldi-Nanna"), Ennigaldi, the daughter of Nabonidus, the List of Kings of Babyl ...
, built by Princess Ennigaldi in modern
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
at the end of the
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire, also known as the Second Babylonian Empire and historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with Nabopolassar's coronation as ...

Neo-Babylonian Empire
. The site dates from c. 530 BCE, and contained artifacts from earlier
Mesopotamian civilizations
Mesopotamian civilizations
. Notably, a clay drum label—written in three languages—was found at the site, referencing the history and discovery of a museum item. Ancient Greeks and Romans collected and displayed art and objects but perceived museums differently from modern day views. In the classical period the museums were the temples and their precincts which housed collections of votive offerings. Paintings and sculptures were displayed in gardens, forums, theaters, and bathhouses. In the ancient past there was little differentiation between libraries and museums with both occupying the building and were frequently connected to a temple or royal palace. The Museum of Alexandria is believed to be one of the earliest museums in the world. While it connected to the
Library of Alexandria The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. The Library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum, Mouseion, which was dedicated to the ...

Library of Alexandria
it is not clear if the museum was in a different building from the library or was part of the library complex. While little was known about the museum is was an inspiration for museums during the early Renaissance period. The royal palaces also functioned as a kind of museum outfitted with art and objects from conquered territories and gifts from ambassadors from other kingdoms allowing the ruler to display the amassed collections to guests and to visiting dignitaries. Also in Alexandria from the time of
Ptolemy II Philadelphus ; egy, Userkanaenre wikt:mry-jmn, Meryamun#Clayton06, Clayton (2006) p. 208 , predecessor = Ptolemy I Soter , successor = Ptolemy III Euergetes , horus = ''ḥwnw-ḳni'Khunuqeni''The brave youth , nebty = ''wr-pḥtj ...

Ptolemy II Philadelphus
(r. 285-246 BCE), was the first zoological park. At first used by Philadelphus in an attempt to domesticate
African elephants The African elephant (''Loxodonta'') is a Genus (biology), genus comprising two living elephant species, the African bush elephant (''L. africana'') and the smaller African forest elephant (''L. cyclotis''). Both are social herbivores with grey ...

African elephants
for use in war, the elephants were also used for show along with a menagerie of other animals specimens including
hartebeests
hartebeests
,
ostriches ''Struthio'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a ...

ostriches
,
zebras Zebras (, ) (subgenus ''Hippotigris'') are African equines with distinctive black-and-white striped Animal coat, coats. There are three Extant taxon, extant species: the Grévy's zebra (''Equus grevyi''), plains zebra (''E. quagga''), and the ...

zebras
,
leopards The leopard (''Panthera pardus'') is one of the five extant species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is ...

leopards
,
giraffes The giraffe (''Giraffa'') is an African artiodactyl mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mam ...

giraffes
,
rhinoceros A rhinoceros (, , ), commonly abbreviated to rhino, is a member of any of the five extant Extant is the opposite of the word extinct. It may refer to: * Extant hereditary titles * Extant literature, surviving literature, such as ''Beowulf'' ...

rhinoceros
, and
pythons The Pythonidae, commonly known as pythons, are a Family (biology), family of Venomous snake, nonvenomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Among its members are some of the largest snakes in the world. Ten Genus, genera and 42 species ...
.


Early history

Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts. These were often displayed in so-called "wonder rooms" or
cabinets of curiosities , whose tusk, as a Unicorn The unicorn is a legendary creature A legendary or mythological creature, also called fabulous creature and fabulous beast, is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subje ...
. These contemporary museums first emerged in western Europe, then spread into other parts of the world. Public access to these museums was often possible for the "respectable", especially to private art collections, but at the whim of the owner and his staff. One way that elite men during this time period gained a higher social status in the world of elites was by becoming a collector of these curious objects and displaying them. Many of the items in these collections were new discoveries and these collectors or naturalists, since many of these people held interest in natural sciences, were eager to obtain them. By putting their collections in a museum and on display, they not only got to show their fantastic finds but also used the museum as a way to sort and "manage the empirical explosion of materials that wider dissemination of ancient texts, increased travel, voyages of discovery, and more systematic forms of communication and exchange had produced". One of these naturalists and collectors was
Ulisse Aldrovandi Ulisse Aldrovandi (11 September 1522 – 4 May 1605) was an Italy, Italian natural history, naturalist, the moving force behind Orto Botanico dell'Università di Bologna, Bologna's botanical garden, one of the first in Europe. Carl Linnaeus and th ...
, whose collection policy of gathering as many objects and facts about them was "encyclopedic" in nature, reminiscent of that of Pliny, the Roman philosopher and naturalist. The idea was to consume and collect as much knowledge as possible, to put everything they collected and everything they knew in these displays. In time, however, museum philosophy would change and the encyclopedic nature of information that was so enjoyed by Aldrovandi and his cohorts would be dismissed as well as "the museums that contained this knowledge". The 18th-century scholars of the
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link= ...
saw their ideas of the museum as superior and based their natural history museums on "organization and taxonomy" rather than displaying everything in any order after the style of Aldrovandi. The first "public" museums were often accessible only by the middle and upper classes. It could be difficult to gain entrance. When the British Museum opened to the public in 1759, it was a concern that large crowds could damage the artifacts. Prospective visitors to the British Museum had to apply in writing for admission, and small groups were allowed into the galleries each day. The British Museum became increasingly popular during the 19th century, amongst all age groups and social classes who visited the British Museum, especially on public holidays. The
Ashmolean Museum The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology () on Beaumont Street, Oxford, England, is the world's second university museum (after the establishment of the Kunstmuseum Basel in 1661 by the University of Basel in Switzerland) and Britain's first pu ...
, however, founded in 1677 from the personal collection of
Elias Ashmole Elias Ashmole (; 23 May 1617 – 18 May 1692) was an English antiquary, politician, officer of arms An officer of arms is a person appointed by a sovereign or Sovereign state, state with authority to perform one or more of the following funct ...

Elias Ashmole
, was set up in the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
to be open to the public and is considered by some to be the first modern public museum. The collection included that of
Elias Ashmole Elias Ashmole (; 23 May 1617 – 18 May 1692) was an English antiquary, politician, officer of arms An officer of arms is a person appointed by a sovereign or Sovereign state, state with authority to perform one or more of the following funct ...

Elias Ashmole
which he had collected himself, including objects he had acquired from the gardeners, travellers and collectors
John Tradescant the elder#REDIRECT John Tradescant the Elder {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from other capitalization ...

John Tradescant the elder
and
his son of the same name
his son of the same name
. The collection included antique coins, books, engravings, geological specimens, and zoological specimens—one of which was the stuffed body of the last
dodo The dodo (''Raphus cucullatus'') is an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are compose ...

dodo
ever seen in Europe; but by 1755 the stuffed dodo was so moth-eaten that it was destroyed, except for its head and one claw. The museum opened on 24 May 1683, with
naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classif ...

naturalist
Robert Plot Robert Plot (13 December 1640 – 30 April 1696) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observati ...
as the first keeper. The first building, which became known as the
Old Ashmolean The History of Science Museum in Broad Street, Oxford, Broad Street, Oxford, England, holds a leading collection of scientific instruments from Science in the Middle Ages, Middle Ages to the 19th century. The museum building is also known as the ...

Old Ashmolean
, is sometimes attributed to
Sir Christopher Wren Sir Christopher Wren President of the Royal Society, PRS Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS (; – ) was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, as well as an anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist. H ...

Sir Christopher Wren
or Thomas Wood. In France, the first public museum was the
Louvre Museum The Louvre ( ), or the Louvre Museum ( ), is the world's list of largest art museums, largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France, and is best known for being the home of the ''Mona Lisa''. A central landmark of the city, it is ...

Louvre Museum
in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
, opened in 1793 during the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, which enabled for the first time free access to the former French royal collections for people of all stations and status. The fabulous art treasures collected by the French
monarchy A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a ...
over centuries were accessible to the public three days each "''décade''" (the 10-day unit which had replaced the week in the
French Republican Calendar The French Republican calendar (french: calendrier républicain français), also commonly called the French Revolutionary calendar (), was a calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of ...
). The ''Conservatoire du muséum national des Arts'' (National Museum of Arts's Conservatory) was charged with organizing the Louvre as a national public museum and the centerpiece of a planned national museum system. As
Napoléon I
Napoléon I
conquered the great cities of Europe, confiscating art objects as he went, the collections grew and the organizational task became more and more complicated. After Napoleon was defeated in 1815, many of the treasures he had amassed were gradually returned to their owners (and many were not). His plan was never fully realized, but his concept of a museum as an agent of nationalistic fervor had a profound influence throughout Europe.
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

Chinese
and
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...
visitors to Europe were fascinated by the museums they saw there, but had cultural difficulties in grasping their purpose and finding an equivalent Chinese or Japanese term for them. Chinese visitors in the early 19th century named these museums based on what they contained, so defined them as "bone amassing buildings" or "courtyards of treasures" or "painting pavilions" or "curio stores" or "halls of military feats" or "gardens of everything". Japan first encountered Western museum institutions when it participated in Europe's World's Fairs in the 1860s. The British Museum was described by one of their delegates as a 'hakubutsukan', a 'house of extensive things' – this would eventually become accepted as the equivalent word for 'museum' in Japan and China.


Modern history

American museums eventually joined European museums as the world's leading centers for the production of new knowledge in their fields of interest. A period of intense museum building, in both an intellectual and physical sense was realized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (this is often called "The Museum Period" or "The Museum Age"). While many American museums, both natural history museums and art museums alike, were founded with the intention of focusing on the scientific discoveries and artistic developments in North America, many moved to emulate their European counterparts in certain ways (including the development of Classical collections from ancient
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...
,
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
, and
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...
). Drawing on
Michel Foucault Paul-Michel Foucault (, ; ; 15 October 192625 June 1984) was a French philosopher, historian of ideas Intellectual history (also the history of ideas) is the study of the history of human thought and of intellectual An intellectual is a ...

Michel Foucault
's concept of liberal government,
Tony Bennett Anthony Dominick Benedetto (born August 3, 1926), known professionally as Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop Traditional pop (also known as classic pop and pre-rock and roll pop) is Western Western may refer to: Place ...
has suggested the development of more modern 19th-century museums was part of new strategies by Western governments to produce a citizenry that, rather than be directed by coercive or external forces, monitored and regulated its own conduct. To incorporate the masses in this strategy, the private space of museums that previously had been restricted and socially exclusive were made public. As such, objects and artifacts, particularly those related to high culture, became instruments for these "new tasks of social management".
Universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...

Universities
became the primary centers for innovative research in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
well before the start of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Nevertheless, museums to this day contribute new knowledge to their fields and continue to build collections that are useful for both research and display. The late twentieth century witnessed intense debate concerning the repatriation of religious, ethnic, and cultural artifacts housed in museum collections. In the United States, several
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
tribes and advocacy groups have lobbied extensively for the repatriation of sacred objects and the reburial of human remains. In 1990, Congress passed the
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act artifacts on display at the State Museum of Pennsylvania The State Museum of Pennsylvania is a non-profit museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is an institution that Preservation (library and archival science), cares f ...
(NAGPRA), which required federal agencies and federally funded institutions to repatriate Native American "cultural items" to culturally affiliate tribes and groups. Similarly, many European museum collections often contain objects and cultural artifacts acquired through
imperialism Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending rule over peoples and other countries, for extending political and economic access, power and control, often through employing hard power Hard power is the use of military and economics, economi ...

imperialism
and
colonization Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their—or their ancestors'—former country, gaining significant privileges over other inhabitants of the territory by such l ...
. Some historians and scholars have criticized the British Museum for its possession of rare antiquities from
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...

Greece
, and the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
.


Management

The roles associated with the management of a museum largely depend on the size of the institution, but every museum has a hierarchy of governance with a Board of Trustees or Board of Directors serving at the top. The Director is next in command and works with the Board to establish and fulfill the museum's mission statement and to ensure that the museum is accountable to the public. Together, the Board and the Director establish a system of governance that is guided by policies that set standards for the institution. Documents that set these standards include an institutional or strategic plan, institutional code of ethics, bylaws, and collections policy. The
American Alliance of Museums The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), formerly the American Association of Museums, is a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entit ...
(AAM) has also formulated a series of standards and best practices that help guide the management of museums. *
Board of Trustees A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English spelling diffe ...

Board of Trustees
or
Board of directors A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, W ...
– The board governs the museum and is responsible for ensuring the museum is financially and ethically sound. They set standards and policies for the museum. Board members are often involved in fundraising aspects of the museum and represent the institution. Hugh H. Genoways and Lynne M. Ireland, ''Museum Administration: An Introduction'', (Lanham: AltaMira, 2003), 3. Some museum use the terms "directors" and "trustees" interchangeably but both are different legal instruments. A board of directors governs a nonprofit corporation, a board of trustees is responsible for governing a charitable trust, foundation, or endowment. In the case of small museums and all volunteer museums, a board may be more hands-on in the day-to-day operations of the museum. * Director- The director is the face of the museum to the professional and public community. They communicate closely with the board to guide and govern the museum. They work with the staff to ensure the museum runs smoothly. According to museum professionals Hugh H. Genoways and Lynne M. Ireland, "Administration of the organization requires skill in conflict management, interpersonal relations, budget management and monitoring, and staff supervision and evaluation. Managers must also set legal and ethical standards and maintain involvement in the museum profession." Various positions within the museum carry out the policies established by the Board and the Director. All museum employees should work together toward the museum's institutional goal. Here is a list of positions commonly found at museums: *
Curator A curator (from la, cura, meaning "to take care") is a manager or overseer. When working with cultural organizations, a curator is typically a "collections curator" or an "exhibitions curator", and has multifaceted tasks dependent on the parti ...
– Curators are the intellectual drivers behind exhibits. They research the museum's collection and topic of focus, develop exhibition themes, and publish their research aimed at either a public or academic audience. Larger museums have curators in a variety of areas. For example,
The Henry Ford The Henry Ford (also known as the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village, and as the Edison Institute) is a large indoor and outdoor history museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is an institution t ...
has a Curator of Transportation, a Curator of Public Life, a Curator of Decorative Arts, etc. Many art museums have curators dedicated to specific historic periods and geographic regions, such as American art and modern or contemporary art. * Collections Management – Collections managers are primarily responsible for the hands-on care, movement, and storage of objects. They are responsible for the accessibility of collections and collections policy. *
Registrar A registrar is an official keeper of records made in a register. The term may refer to: Education * Registrar (education), an official in an academic institution who handles student records * Registrar of the University of Oxford, one of the seni ...
– Registrars are the primary record keepers of the collection. They insure that objects are properly accessioned, documented, insured, and, when appropriate, loaned. Ethical and legal issues related to the collection are dealt with by registrars. Along with collections managers, they uphold the museum's collections policy. * – Museum educators are responsible for educating museum audiences. Their duties can include designing tours and public programs for children and adults, teacher training, developing classroom and continuing education resources, community outreach, and volunteer management. Educators not only work with the public, but also collaborate with other museum staff on exhibition and program development to ensure that exhibits are audience-friendly. * Exhibit Designer – Exhibit designers are in charge of the layout and physical installation of exhibits. They create a conceptual design and then bring it to fruition in the physical space. * Conservator – Conservators focus on object restoration. More than preserving the object in its present state, they seek to stabilize and repair artifacts to the condition of an earlier era. Other positions commonly found at museums include: building operator, public programming staff,
photographer A photographer (the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ap ...

photographer
,
librarian A librarian is a person who works professionally in a library, providing access to information, and sometimes social or technical programming, or instruction on information literacy to users. The role of the librarian has changed much over time, ...

librarian
,
archivist An archivist is an information professional An information professional or information specialist is someone who collects, records, organises, stores, preserves, retrieves, and disseminates printed or digital information. The service delivered t ...
,
groundskeeperImage:Garden pool in Filoli, Woodside, California.jpg, 260px, A mansion garden landscape. Groundskeeping is the activity of tending an area of land for aesthetic or functional purposes; typically in an institutional setting. It includes mowing grass, ...
, volunteer coordinator, preparator, security staff, development officer, membership officer, business officer, gift shop manager, public relations staff, and
graphic designer A graphic designer is a professional within the graphic design Graphic design is the profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the publi ...

graphic designer
. At smaller museums, staff members often fulfill multiple roles. Some of these positions are excluded entirely or may be carried out by a contractor when necessary.


Protection

The
cultural property Cultural property does not have a universal definition, but it is commonly considered to be tangible (physical, material) items that are part of the cultural heritage Cultural heritage is the legacy of cultural resources and intangible attribut ...
stored in museums is threatened in many countries by natural disaster, war, terrorist attacks or other emergencies. To this end, an internationally important aspect is a strong bundling of existing resources and the networking of existing specialist competencies in order to prevent any loss or damage to cultural property or to keep damage as low as possible. International partner for museums is UNESCO and Blue Shield International in accordance with the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property from 1954 and its 2nd Protocol from 1999. For legal reasons, there are many international collaborations between museums, and the local Blue Shield organizations. Blue Shield has conducted extensive missions to protect museums and cultural assets in armed conflict, such as 2011 in Egypt and Libya, 2013 in Syria and 2014 in Mali and Iraq. During these operations, the looting of the collection is to be prevented in particular.


Planning

The design of museums has evolved throughout history. However, museum planning involves planning the actual mission of the museum along with planning the space that the collection of the museum will be housed in. Intentional museum planning has its beginnings with the museum founder and librarian John Cotton Dana. Dana detailed the process of founding the Newark Museum in a series of books in the early 20th century so that other museum founders could plan their museums. Dana suggested that potential founders of museums should form a committee first, and reach out to the community for input as to what the museum should supply or do for the community. According to Dana, museums should be planned according to community's needs: "The new museum ... does not build on an educational superstition. It examines its community's life first, and then straightway bends its energies to supplying some the material which that community needs, and to making that material's presence widely known, and to presenting it in such a way as to secure it for the maximum of use and the maximum efficiency of that use." The way that museums are planned and designed vary according to what collections they house, but overall, they adhere to planning a space that is easily accessed by the public and easily displays the chosen artifacts. These elements of planning have their roots with John Cotton Dana, who was perturbed at the historical placement of museums outside of cities, and in areas that were not easily accessed by the public, in gloomy European style buildings. Questions of accessibility continue to the present day. Many museums strive to make their buildings, programming, ideas, and collections more publicly accessible than in the past. Not every museum is participating in this trend, but that seems to be the trajectory of museums in the twenty-first century with its emphasis on inclusiveness. One pioneering way museums are attempting to make their collections more accessible is with open storage. Most of a museum's collection is typically locked away in a secure location to be preserved, but the result is most people never get to see the vast majority of collections. The Brooklyn Museum's Luce Center for American Art practices this open storage where the public can view items not on display, albeit with minimal interpretation. The practice of open storage is all part of an ongoing debate in the museum field of the role objects play and how accessible they should be. In terms of modern museums, interpretive museums, as opposed to art museums, have missions reflecting curatorial guidance through the subject matter which now include content in the form of images, audio and visual effects, and interactive exhibits. Museum creation begins with a museum plan, created through a museum planning process. The process involves identifying the museum's vision and the resources, organization and experiences needed to realize this vision. A feasibility study, analysis of comparable facilities, and an Interpretive planning, interpretive plan are all developed as part of the museum planning process. Some museum experiences have very few or no artifacts and do not necessarily call themselves museums, and their mission reflects this; the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, being notable examples where there are few artifacts, but strong, memorable stories are told or information is interpreted. In contrast, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. uses many artifacts in their memorable exhibitions. Museums are laid out in a specific way for a specific reason and each person who enters the doors of a museum will see its collection completely differently to the person behind them- this is what makes museums fascinating because they are represented differently to each individual.


Financial uses

In recent years, some cities have turned to museums as an avenue for economic development or rejuvenation. This is particularly true in the case of postindustrial cities. Examples of museums fulfilling these economic roles exist around the world. For example, the spectacular ''Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Guggenheim Bilbao'' was built in Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain in a move by the Basque regional government to revitalize the dilapidated old port area of that city. The Basque government agreed to pay $100 million for the construction of the museum, a price tag that caused many Bilbaoans to protest against the project. Nonetheless, the gamble has appeared to pay off financially for the city, with over 1.1 million people visiting the museum in 2015. Key to this is the large demographic of foreign visitors to the museum, with 63% of the visitors residing outside of Spain and thus feeding foreign investment straight into Bilbao. A similar project to that undertaken in Bilbao was also built on the disused shipyards of Belfast, Northern Ireland. ''Titanic Belfast'' was built for the same price as the ''Guggenheim Bilbao'' (and which was incidentally built by the same architect, Frank Gehry) in time for the 100th anniversary of the Belfast-built ship's maiden voyage in 2012. Initially expecting modest visitor numbers of 425,000 annually, first year visitor numbers reached over 800,000, with almost 60% coming from outside Northern Ireland. In the United States, similar projects include the 81, 000 square foot ''Taubman Museum of Art'' in Roanoke, Virginia and ''The Broad Museum'' in Los Angeles. Museums being used as a cultural economic driver by city and local governments has proven to be controversial among museum activists and local populations alike. Public protests have occurred in numerous cities which have tried to employ museums in this way. While most subside if a museum is successful, as happened in Bilbao, others continue especially if a museum struggles to attract visitors. The ''Taubman Museum of Art'' is an example of a museum which cost a lot (eventually $66 million) but attained little success, and continues to have a low endowment for its size. Some museum activists also see this method of museum use as a deeply flawed model for such institutions. Steven Conn, one such museum proponent, believes that "to ask museums to solve our political and economic problems is to set them up for inevitable failure and to set us (the visitor) up for inevitable disappointment."


Funding

Museums are facing funding shortages. Funding for museums comes from four major categories, and as of 2009 the breakdown for the United States is as follows: Government support (at all levels) 24.4%, private (charitable) giving 36.5%, earned income 27.6%, and investment income 11.5%. Government funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the largest museum funder in the United States, decreased by 19.586 million between 2011 and 2015, adjusted for inflation. The average spent per visitor in an art museum in 2016 was $8 between admissions, store and restaurant, where the average expense per visitor was $55. Corporations, which fall into the private giving category, can be a good source of funding to make up the funding gap. The amount corporations currently give to museums accounts for just 5% of total funding. Corporate giving to the arts, however, was set to increase by 3.3% in 2017.


Exhibition design

Most mid-size and large museums employ exhibit design staff for graphic and environmental design projects, including exhibitions. In addition to traditional 2-D and 3-D designers and architects, these staff departments may include audio-visual specialists, software designers, audience research, evaluation specialists, writers, editors, and preparators or art handlers. These staff specialists may also be charged with supervising contract design or production services. The exhibit design process builds on the Interpretive planning, interpretive plan for an exhibit, determining the most effective, engaging and appropriate methods of communicating a message or telling a story. The process will often mirror the architectural process or schedule, moving from conceptual plan, through schematic design, design development, contract document, fabrication, and installation. Museums of all sizes may also contract the outside services of exhibit fabrication businesses. Some museum scholars have even begun to question whether museums truly need artifacts at all. Historian Steven Conn provocatively asks this question, suggesting that there are fewer objects in ''all'' museums now, as they have been progressively replaced by interactive technology. As educational programming has grown in museums, mass collections of objects have receded in importance. This is not necessarily a negative development. Dorothy Canfield Fisher observed that the reduction in objects has pushed museums to grow from institutions that artlessly showcased their many artifacts (in the style of early cabinets of curiosity) to instead "thinning out" the objects presented "for a general view of any given subject or period, and to put the rest away in archive-storage-rooms, where they could be consulted by students, the only people who really needed to see them". This phenomenon of disappearing objects is especially present in science museums like the Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago), Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, which have a high visitorship of school-aged children who may benefit more from hands-on interactive technology than reading a label beside an artifact.


Types

There is no definitive standard as to the set types of museums. Additionally, the museum landscape has become so varied, that it may not be sufficient to use traditional categories to comprehend fully the vast variety existing throughout the world. However, it may be useful to categorize museums in different ways under multiple perspectives. Museums can vary based on size, from large institutions, to very small institutions focusing on a specific subjects, such as a specific location, a notable person, or a given period of time. Museums also can be based on the main source of funding: central or federal government, provinces, regions, universities; towns and communities; other subsidised; nonsubsidised and private. It may sometimes be useful to distinguish between wikt:diachronic, diachronic museums - those that interpret the way in which its subject matter has developed and evolved through time (examples: Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Diachronic Museum of Larissa), and wikt:synchronic, synchronic museums - those that interpret the way in which its subject matter exists at one point in time (examples:The Anne Frank House and Colonial Williamsburg). According to University of Florida's Professor Eric Kilgerman, "While a museum in which a particular narrative unfolds within its halls is diachronic, those museums that limit their space to a single experience are called synchronic." In her book, Civilizing the Museum, author Elaine Heumann Gurian proposes that there are five categories of museums based on intention not content. Object Centered, Narrative, Client Centered, Community Centered, and National. Museums can also be categorized into major groups by the type of collections they display, to include: fine arts, applied arts, craft, archaeology, anthropology and ethnology, biography, history, cultural history, science, technology, children's museums, natural history, botanical garden, botanical and zoo, zoological gardens. Within these categories, many museums specialize further, e.g. museums of modern art, folk art, local history, military history, History of aviation, aviation history, philately, agriculture, or geology. The size of a museum's collection typically determines the museum's size, whereas its collection reflects the type of museum it is. Many museums normally display a "permanent collection" of important selected objects in its area of specialization, and may periodically display "special collections" on a temporary basis.


Major museum types

The following is a list to give an idea of the major museum types. While comprehensive it is not a definitive list. *Agricultural museum, Agricultural *Architecture museum, Architecture *Archaeological museum, Archaeological *Art museum, Art *Design museum, Design *Biographical museum, Biographical *Children's museum, Children's *Community museum, Community *Encyclopedic museum, Encyclopedic *Folk museum, Folk *Historic house museum, Historic house *Historic site *Living museum, Living history *Local museum, Local *Maritime museum, Maritime *Medical museum, Medical *Memorial museum, Memorial *Natural history *Open-air museum, Open-air *Science museum, Science *Virtual museum, Virtual


Legal framework of museums


Public vs. private museums

Private museums are organized by individuals and managed by a board and museum officers, but public museums are created and managed by federal, state, or local governments. A government can charter a museum through legislative action but the museum can still be private as it is not part of the government. The distinction regulates the ownership and legal accountability for the care of the collections.


Non-profit vs. for-profit museums

Nonprofit means that an organization is classified as a charitable corporation and is exempt from paying most taxes and the money the organization earns is invested in the organization itself. Money made by a private, for-profit museum is paid to the museum’s owners or shareholders. The nonprofit museum has a fiduciary responsibility in regards to the public, in essence the museum holds its collections and administers it for the benefit of the public. Collections of for-profit museums are legally corporate assets the museum administers for the benefit of the owners or shareholders.


Museums run by trusts vs. corporations

A trust is a legal instrument where trustees manage the trust's assets for the benefit of the museum following the specific wishes of the donor. This provides tax benefits for the donor, and also allows the donor to have control over how assets are distributed. Corporations are legal entities and may acquire property in a way similar to how an individual can own property. Museums under incorporation are usually organized by a community or group of individuals. While a board of director's loyalty is to the corporation, a board of trustee's loyalty has to be loyal to the intention of the trust. The ramification is that a trust is far less flexible than a corporation.


Current challenges facing museums


Sustainability and climate change

''See also: Green Museum'' Increasingly museums have been responded to the ongoing climate crisis through enacting sustainable museum practices, and exhibitions highlighting the issues surrounding climate change and the Anthropocene.


Decolonization of museums

During the beginning of the 21st century, a growing global movement for the decolonization of museums has arisen. Proponents of this movement argue that 'museums are a box of things' and do not represent complete stories; instead they show biased narratives based on ideologies, in which certain stories are intentionally disregarded. Through this, people are encouraging others to consider this missing perspective, when looking at museum collections, as every object viewed in such environments was placed by an individual to represent a certain viewpoint, be it historical or cultural. The 2018 Report on the restitution of African cultural heritage, ''report on'' ''the restitution of African cultural heritage''Felwine Sarr, Bénédicte Savoy: "Rapport sur la restitution du patrimoine culturel africain. Vers une nouvelle éthique relationnelle". Paris 2018; "The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage. Toward a New Relational Ethics" (Download French original and English version, pdf, http://restitutionreport2018.com/ is a prominent example regarding the decolonization of museums and other collections in France and the claims of African countries to regain Artifact (archaeology), artifacts illegally taken from their original cultural settings. Demands have been made for the repatriation of the Moai figures of Easter Island, that were taken away by British naval officers and then given by Queen Victoria to the British Museum in 1869. These are seen as ancestors and family or the soul by the Rapa Nui people, Rapa Nui and hold deep cultural value to their people. Other examples include the Gweagal Shield, thought to be a very significant shield taken from Botany Bay in April 1770 or the Elgin Marbles, Parthenon marble sculptures, which were taken from Greece by Lord Elgin in 1805. Successive Greek governments have unsuccessfully petitioned for the return of the Parthenon marbles. Another example among many others is the so-called Montezuma's headdress in the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna, which is a source of dispute between Austria and Mexico. Laura Van Broekhoven, director of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, United Kingdom, stated in 2020 that "ethnographic museums should redress their Coloniality of knowledge, coloniality. They should be a pluriverse that shows the rich diversity of ways of being and knowing, not centering Whiteness theory, whiteness as the only way of being. Museums ought to allow for everyone to understand each other better."


See also

* * Audio tour * Cell phone tour * Computer Interchange of Museum Information * Exhibition history *
Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum is thought by some historians to be the first museum, although this is speculative. It dates to circa 530 BCE. The curator was Ennigaldi ("Ennigaldi-Nanna"), Ennigaldi, the daughter of Nabonidus, the List of Kings of Babyl ...
, world's first museum *
International Council of Museums The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is a non-governmental organization, non-governmental organisation dedicated to museums, maintaining formal relations with UNESCO and having a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Soci ...
* International Museum Day (18 May) * List of museums * List of largest art museums * List of most-visited museums * List of most visited art museums * List of most-visited museums by region * .museum * Museum education * Museum fatigue * Museum label * Museum shop * Collective memory, Public memory * Science tourism * :Types of museums, Types of museums * Virtual Library museums pages


References


Further reading

* * * * * * * Rentzhog, Sten (2007). ''Open air museums: The history and future of a visionary idea''. Stockholm and Östersund: Carlssons Förlag / Jamtli.
Simon, Nina K. (2010). ''The Participatory Museum.'' Santa Cruz: Museums 2.0
* – also available in English: * *


External links

*
International Council of Museums

Museums of the World

VLmp directory of museums
* {{Authority control Museums, Museology Tourist activities Educational buildings