Why Are Museums Important? Essay

2520 Words 11 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…
A greater number of educators are looking to museums to help them attain their educational objectives. Howard Gardner has identified Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood as the perfect environment for stimulating the natural curiosity of a child. Furthermore, in response to demands for new educational approaches, older children are using museums to develop their critical facilities in art and design (Campbell, 1992).

Hooper-Greenhill (1994) places high importance in the role of museums as they offer many different opportunities of enabling children and adults to enter worlds where they may play out skills that are vital in the real worlds. With the rise of technology, museums are able to provide the mass with interactive education. The Clore Education Centre in The National History Museum has an “Investigate” area which is a hands-on science centre. Visitors can experience hundreds of natural objects and investigate them further using scientific tools and instruments that are provided to encourage visitors to make observations, look for relationships and draw their own conclusions. The National Science Museum can be said to be one of the most interactive museums in Britain. Their large number of interactive galleries include The Launch Pad and Flight Lab, The Garden and a make-believe earthquake in a…