Museology – the study of Museums

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Museology - the study of Museums

Museology or museum studies is the study of museums, the history of their establishment and development. The study of museums includes not only the study of history but also includes many aspects of museums. Museology answers questions like-

Who are we?

Where do we come from?

where are we going?

why are we here?

Museology is the practice of organizing, arranging, and managing museums, including the study of the history of museums and their role in society, as well as curating and preserving education, and public programming.

Pic- Encyclopedia Britannica

A museum is a building that houses a collection of objects such as art, paintings, artefacts, sculptures, etc. The purpose of the museum is to study and preserve culture, education etc. Museums are not just for the objects that are on display but there is a lot behind the scenes.

Definitions

Museum

According to the Cambridge dictionary- Museum is a building where objects of historical, scientific, or artistic interest are kept.

According to the Merriam- Webster dictionary- Museum is an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study and display of objects of lasting interest or value.

Museology

According to the Merriam- Webster dictionary- Museology is the science or profession of museum organization and management.

According to Collins dictionary- Museology is the science of museum organization.

Role of museums in society

Museums have been a part of human history for over 2000 years. But they weren’t always like the ones we visit today. The history of the museum is far older.

The museum showcases different perspectives from around the world. A museum is a place where anyone comes in and discovers themselves. Museums are essential for our textual education.  

Pic- Youth Incorporated Magazine

All people and generations interconnect here. Museums reflect beliefs, culture, values, personalities etc. It develops an individual’s mind to appreciate, preserve and carry forward the tangible and intangible heritage from the surroundings respecting diversity, collecting inspiration and finding resources.

Today museums are available digitally to connect to large audiences around the world. Museums engage people to communicate and make them aware of the global scenario. The museum plays a very important role in activating our senses and thinking processes slowly but surely.

Activities in museums

  • Collection of valuable items of past civilizations and culture
  • Storage of old artefacts
  • Restoration of objects like pottery, sculptures, cloth, ornaments, fossils, bones, machines, paintings, coins, artefacts, inscriptions, manuscripts, stamps, replicas of objects, models, statues, weapons and tools, calligraphy etc.
  • Preserving and promoting different cultures
  • Documentation
  • Provides research work
  • Exhibition or display of a museum’s collection to the public
  • Raising public awareness about Nation’s culture, history and heritage
  • Helps in acquiring education and dissemination of knowledge
  • Conduct public services or activities
  • Organizes public lectures, seminars, film screenings, curator programs, workshops and internship programs
  • Showcase cultural programmes like theatre, dance etc.
  • It helps to bring history alive

Conclusion 

In ancient times museums were places for specialists. They were run by experts and conceived for experts. Now they have a more diverse audience.

Nowadays museums are open to all. Anyone can walk in here with no previous knowledge and training. These are centres of learning and research and are turning into more practical institutions.

It is a discipline that changes over time. Active participation of the public is very necessary to keep any culture and history alive.

References

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