By Prabhas Kumar Singh[56]

In the past, the responsibility of the Museum officials was limited to acquisition, conservation, research and display of different art, archaeological, ethnographical, scientific and technological objects. But in the modern world responsibility of the Museums have much wider role for the visitors. The visitors not only look at the objects and admire and enjoy them, but also learn from them and pass them to the succeeding generation. In a museum, art objects which are most rare, most beautiful and most antique can be seen and studied freely.

Rarity is not the only consideration; their workmanship, historical association,

connection with some important discoveries, links in the development of human culture, etc. are also taken into account. Whatever is the collection, educating the public through various educational activities, is now regarded as one of the primary functions of a Museum.

The earlier museums were scholarship oriented, opened to scholars and members of royal houses, with object of curiosity. The common people did not have access to it. The two notable events in world history, viz. The American war of Independence (1776) and The French evolution’s declaration of human and civil rights (1789) were a turning points and opened new vista for the development of education and culture. This new development further intensified the collection of objects of art and culture and a gradual increase in public access to museum collections. Education was put as one of the major function of museums.

A museum is defined as “a nonprofit making permanent institution, in the service of the society and its development and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, communicates and exhibits, researches for the purpose of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of men and his environment". This declaration made in the Copenhegen 10th General Assembly of the International Council of Museums held in 1974 which is fairly comprehensive.

American Association of Museums defines a museum as “An organised and permanent, non-profit institution essentially educational or aesthetic in purpose, with professional staff which owns and utilizes tangible objects, earns for them and exhibits them to the public on some regular schedule.” This author define a museum as a service provider for the spread of knowledge.

There are many more definitions of museums that lay most emphasis on their role on education. The educational activities within the museums must be ready to provide a great variety of methods through which people can receive insights into and enjoyment of collections. The presence of objects that do not know the boundaries of Language and literacy

helps museums to be on advantageous position compared to other public service agencies, to serve as socially relevant agency for the education and development of the community.

Museums are the competent enough to help in fulfilling all the above goals. Museums can help people in acquiring perfection in life.


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