A museum is a place that holds collections of objects and artifacts. These objects are generally of historical or cultural importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing. These exhibits may be permanent or temporary. The purpose of a museum is to educate and entertain visitors. Museums offer a variety of educational opportunities and exhibits.
General museums serve the locality and are usually founded on civic pride and a desire to spread knowledge of the area. Such museums are widely located in northern and southern America, eastern and western Europe, and Australia. They are often culturally homogeneous and reflect the culture and heritage of their communities. Their goals are diverse, but they are all related to preserving and interpreting the material aspect of society’s cultural consciousness.
General museums have significant financial challenges. They must hire a large number of specialists to care for their collections, and the research programs can be costly to run. Some museums have chosen to diversify their research to reduce costs. For example, curators of history and archaeology have become involved in recording the environment of a particular location, as well as preparing data banks to serve local planners and developers.
The new museum definition is based on a process that has been long and hard fought. The process began at the last ICOM conference in Kyoto, Japan, where a consensus was not reached before the vote. This left the existing definition of a museum in place, which was developed in the 1970s. However, it was only last amended in 2007. In addition, the old definition omitted terms such as repatriation and decolonisation. Ultimately, it will take 18 months for the definition to be finalised.
There are several different types of museum jobs, and there are several educational paths for each. Some are more lucrative than others, and some require a doctorate degree. In order to advance in the job market, a museum guide should stay abreast of the latest developments in the field. Most museums are focusing on bringing more digital experiences to their visitors, and most people would rather learn history or art through digital means.
While the new definition has garnered a lot of support in some European countries, it has been met with criticism. However, some directors of European museums are concerned about the impact on funding. Therefore, a new committee has been formed to develop a universal definition, but it has not made much progress. A meeting in Paris titled What Definition Do Museums Need? has been convened, but it is unclear how it will resolve the issue.
Museums have been around for many centuries. Ancient Greece, for instance, had pinakotheke for the worship of the gods. The Romans also had public interest in art. They had public collections, and emperors often kept private collections. The deputy of Augustus, Agrippa, commented in the 1st century bce that museums should make the arts accessible to the public.