Why Are Museums Important? Essay

2900 Words Dec 17th, 1999 12 Pages
The Cambridge Dictionary Online defined museums as "places of study, buildings where objects of historical, scientific or artistic interest are kept, preserved and exhibited". To The Museums Association, a museum is "an institution which collects documents, preserves, exhibits and interprets material evidence and associated information for the public benefit". Since 1998, this definition has changed. Museums now enable the public to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. They are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artefacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society. Mike Wallace (1996) categorised museums into four distinct types, namely National Museums that hold collection of national …show more content…
Technology advancement also aided museums in catching up with the cyber-savvy world today. Almost all the museums in Britain have found a home on the World Wide Web (MuseumNet). Not surprisingly, museums began to use the Internet as a medium in extending educational resources right to the homes of the people. On The British Museum website, one can easily download information sheets, resources, events, further reading list and web-links about more than thirty different cultures or topics, such as art history, Mesopotamia and textiles. The Science Museum site has an impressive range of online exhibitions about vast topics, for instance Life, the Universe & the Electron, Digitopolis (digital technology) and Exploring Leonardo da Vinci. The cyber home of The National History Museum houses ten online exhibitions, such as AntCast, Dino Directory and Eclipse. It also has the first online national woodlouse survey (Walking with Woodlouse), which is my personal favourite because other than providing interactive information, it allows for exchange of ideas via a flash-designed message board for fellow knowledge-hungry web-users. By employing technologies of the 21st century, museums are not only able to fulfil their essential role as an educational resource but also to make learning a fun and memorable experience.
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<br>Museums offer a storehouse of information about how people and societies behave through the ages (Hudson, K, 1987). We would not be able to…