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Topics: Museum, Natural History Museum, British Museum Pages: 18 (5971 words) Published: June 22, 2013
Chapter One
I. Background
1. Historical Development of a museum
The word Museum derived from the Greek term “Museion” which means a place of inspiration and learning dedicated to the “Muses” nine Mythological Goddesses which ruled over the arts and sciences.1 According to the international council of Museums definition a Museum is “a non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of society and of it’s development and open to the public which acquires, conserves, researches, communicate and exhibits, for purposes of study, education and enjoyment material evidence of people and their environments.2 Another definitions with regard to museum is given by the Museums association (United Kingdom) accordingly, it is “an institution which collects, documents, preserves, exhibits and interprets material evidence and associated information for the public benefit.3 And the Encyclopedia Britannia also define Museum as follows: . . . three things in particulary characterized museums:

(1) They had collections of objects
(2) The specimens are displayed for the institution and enjoyment of at least a limited public and (3) They bore the name we still we of these characteristics, Collection is certainly the oldest.4 In fact, Museums seem to be as old as the human race. In the medieval period the word ‘Museum’ was survived. It was mostly wed to describe the collection of Lorezo De Medici in Florence. By the 17th century the term was generally used in Europe to describe collection of classified. In 1675 the collection of Elias Ashmole was transferred to the University of oxford. A special building was constructed to receive this collection; become the Ashmolean Museum and was opened to the public in 1683. This may be regarded as the first public museum.5 By 18thc Museum was commonly identified as an institution established to perceive and display a collection of antiquaries allowed by and opened to the public. The increasing world exploration through trade and rapid industrialization brought enlightenment and guest for knowledge in Europe and is evident in the opening of two of Europe’s out standing Museums the British Museum of Museum spread to other past of the world.6 During the 19th and early 20thc the term denoted a building that housed cultural material to which the public had access. Though the Museum as it is known in the 20thc is of relatively modern conception but it is name was used for a different kind of institution. In ancient classical times, the word Museum was defined by Guliver Butte in his Lexicon-Tracco-Latiman (1554) as a place dedicated to the Muses (nine goddesses of the art and sciences in Greece and Roman Mythology) and to study, here one engages one self in noble discipline. Thus the Museum at Alexandria, Egypt was created at the beginning of 3rdCBC. In the piton era and later destroyed, was not a Museum in the Modern sense but an institution of research, library and an academy.7 In Africa Museums are subject of along history; they are relatively new phenomena. In Africa Museum, were founded early in the 20thC. the first modern Museum was opened in CapeTown, South Africa. Followed by the Cairo Museum, Egypt in 1851, the Bulawayo Museum, Zimbabwe in 1901 and in 1909 by the national Museum of Kenya.8 The development of Museums in Africa was linked with the interest and motives of colonial masters. African cultures were not reflected in there newly founded cultural institutions and considered as representing a large and un classified cultura. So objects displayed at the Museums were representations of culture through the eyes and interpretation of colonials. It was only in the 1950’s that museums began to be considered as institutions that preserved to the masses the achievements of the past inspiration for the future as a result of the growing political consciousness among the Africans.9 The development of Museums in Ethiopia is differ from the institutions in other African...

Bibliography: Timothy Ambrose and Crispin Pain, Museum Basics, (London, Routledge press Ltd. 2006)
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