While ICOM classifies permanent institutions as museums, the term is more expansive than that. It is a cultural institution that preserves and displays collections of cultural and scientific significance. According to Elaine Heumann Gurian, a senior curator at the University of California, Los Angeles, a museum is a place to study, appreciate, and share cultural heritage. There are many types of museums, each with a different emphasis. For example, some museums focus on objects, while others emphasize the nation state. Heumann-Gurian says that the categories are meant to guide, not to define, the nature of the institution.
In recent years, the ICOM has been developing a process to define a museum. This process, known as museology, began in the early 2000s. It was not a smooth transition: many museums still only required undergraduate degrees, while others considered equivalent experience. Despite this ambiguity, ICOM has crafted a timeline that includes four rounds of consultation and a full proposal to be voted on at the 2022 ICOM General Conference.
In the meantime, the ICOM launched a consultation process to gather feedback on its proposed definition. During the first phase of the consultation process, the ICOM asked its members to submit reports on their activities in defining the museum. The responses from the two national and international committees – as well as the ICOM’s affiliated organisations – revealed a number of important considerations, which will inform the second stage of the Methodology. However, the new definition will not be published until 2017.
The most common qualification for museum jobs is an M.A. in a related field and three years’ experience. In some institutions, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient, but it is best to keep an open mind. Moreover, the skills and experiences you develop while working for a museum are valuable in many aspects, including recruitment. For example, volunteering at a large organization can give you an idea of the culture of the organisation. Smaller organisations also give you a wider variety of experience. While volunteering, ask for advice from current employees who have recruited other museum staff. If you have a mentor or an interview panel, you can observe the process and learn more about the job requirements.
Although the purpose of a museum is generally the same, its purpose may differ. Some museums focus more on education than on conservation, while others are purely educational. The Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, for example, was founded in 1903. During its first year, it was home to the world’s largest collection of artifacts and exhibits. While the Canadian Art and Design Institute was founded in 2006, it is a pioneering institution in the field of anthropology and science.
As the name suggests, the museum definition is a non-profit institution that preserves and shares the cultural and scientific heritage of humankind. It is a permanent, publicly accessible institution that exhibits the tangible and intangible works of art. It is also an educational institution, and it is open to the public. The goal of the institution is to engage in research and education and to serve humanity. A good museum is a place where people are curious and engaged with the world.