Museums are places that offer the public information and experiences on a variety of topics. These include art and history. They are also places that preserve cultural artifacts. As such, they have the potential to be major tourist attractions. In the United States, they are estimated to contribute $50 billion to the economy annually.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) has been tasked with defining a definition of a museum. This process is designed to take 18 months and has been based on four rounds of consultation. At the end of the process, ICOM will submit the final version to the General Conference in 2022. Members will be asked to review the documents and determine whether they feel the definition meets their needs.
A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution dedicated to collecting, interpreting, and preserving the history, culture, and material heritage of its community. Although there are many different types of museums, they all serve a common purpose. They are free to visit and offer a variety of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy.
Despite their importance, they are also complex institutions that require a diverse group of experts to maintain and operate. Some of these positions include: curators, conservators, admissions assistants, security guards, educators, and museum guides. Each of these positions has a specific set of responsibilities. For instance, curators are responsible for the care of the collections and for teaching the public about the objects in the museum.
Curators have a background in a subject, such as history or archaeology. They also must have an advanced degree in museum studies. Throughout history, historians have been thought of as illegible dusty figures, but this stereotype has changed over time. Today, historians are more involved in the preparation of data banks, and in recording the environment of an area.
Museums are a place for education, and they are often the focal point for the development of public knowledge. They also provide an opportunity for reflection and social interaction. Visitors can take advantage of free tours, or they can attend classes.
Museums are located throughout the world. They are built in cities and towns, but they are also found in smaller communities. Many museums have been built specifically for locality or for a particular geographic region. Other museums focus on a specific topic. There are even a number of maritime museums.
One of the first Chinese sponsored museums was the Nantong Museum. Another is the Kanazawa Bunko Museum. Across the globe, there are a variety of museums that are unique to their location. However, they all share a similar goal: to educate and enrich their communities.
Besides their traditional responsibilities, museums have expanded to meet new economic demands. Many cities have turned to museums for economic development. Others are using their presence to promote diversity and sustainability.
Several national and international museum professional organizations have formulated definitions of museums, defining their purposes and establishing standards for a variety of activities. Most of these organizations also have a Code of Ethics for their members, which sets expectations for the way they conduct their work.