from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Musée du Louvre in Paris (2007)

A museum ( ancient Greek μουσεῖον mouseîon originally a sanctuary of the muses ) is “a non-profit , permanent, publicly accessible institution in the service of society and its development , which provides material and immaterial testimonies of people for the purpose of study , education and experience and their environment procures , preserves , researches , makes known and exhibits . "

Natural History Museum in Vienna , one of the largest museums in Austria
Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg , the largest cultural and historical museum in Germany
Georg Schäfer Museum
in Schweinfurt , with the largest Spitzweg collection in the world
C- , D- and F - railcars in the West Hall of the Transport Museum in schwanheim
The car in which Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were murdered in Sarajevo ( Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna )
Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern , modern museum building by Renzo Piano


The word museum ( ancient Greek μουσεῖον mouseîon ) appears for the first time in Hellenistic antiquity and referred to a sanctuary of the muses . That in the 3rd century BC The Museion of Alexandria , founded in the 4th century BC, was one of the most important research institutions of antiquity, and the library of Alexandria was attached to it . In 1546 the first printed “Museum” catalog by the humanist Paolo Giovio was published on part of his house in Como, Italy : “Musaei Joviani Descriptio”. From then on, the word was used to designate various collections. The term has only been used as a general public term since the end of the 18th century (next to the Pinakothek or Glyptothek ).


The aim of a museum is to store material and immaterial testimonies on a specific topic professionally and permanently and to make them accessible to visitors . This is the only way to turn deposits into exhibits. This happens in permanent and changing exhibitions ; Inventories that cannot be shown constantly due to lack of space (deposits) are kept in the depot .

Today, visitors are usually charged an entrance fee that is used to preserve the collection and the facility.

In a concept of the museum of ideas it is - instead of the objects - about ideas and concepts. It also serves as a place for discussion and thematic exchange.

University Museum

A museum that part of a university 's will, even university museum called. Usually the history of the respective university is presented there and corresponding exhibits are shown. The most famous such university museums in Germany include the Museum of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg or the “ Uniseum ” of the University of Freiburg. The decentralized museum of the University of Tübingen , founded in 2006, pursues a different concept . MUT, which is primarily oriented towards the history of science and cultural studies , aims to convey the special importance of the research, teaching and display collections in Tübingen in temporary, interdisciplinary and research-based exhibitions. The aim is to underline the long history, great diversity, and exceptional completeness and quality of the University of Tübingen's scientific collections and place them in a new, knowledge-oriented context.

Other museums

Collectors museums , private museums , church museums and company museums play a special role . You receive and present the historical collections z. B. by institutions, companies or corporations . With their public relations work , they should also influence the image of the institution in public.

Today almost all museums suffer from budget constraints . The above definition should therefore not be an obstacle to attracting sufficient audiences through appealing presentations and exhibition spaces . To a certain extent, museums must also take account of the zeitgeist and offer visitors a clear structure, context and the opportunity to act on their own .

The term museum is not protected in Germany and Austria . In order to still guarantee a certain standard for museums, the museum seal of approval was created in 2002 in Austria by ICOM Austria and the Austrian Museum Association .


As part of the cultural heritage, museums are one of the primary goals in many wars and armed conflicts and are therefore threatened with destruction and looting. Often the cultural heritage of the enemy is supposed to be permanently damaged or even destroyed. National and international coordination with regard to military and civil structures for the protection of museums is carried out by Blue Shield International , based in the Dutch city of The Hague . It can also be important, despite the partial dissolution of state structures and the very unclear security situation as a result of the wars and unrest, to carry out robust undertakings to protect the museums and their cultural assets. In principle, in the event of disasters with regard to museums and other cultural assets, local alliances mediated or organized by Blue Shield, together with help from accessible third countries, should bring about rapid damage limitation.


Museums often emerged from miracles or art chambers of the nobility or church dignitaries or special private art collections .

Ambras Castle is considered to be one of the oldest museums in the world, and it still functions today and also contains Ferdinand II's chamber of art and curiosities as the only art chamber of the Renaissance to be preserved in its original location. The first museum wing (and thus the first museum building) north of the Alps was the Kunstkammer of the Vienna Hofburg , built between 1558 and 1563 , the foundations of which were discovered in March 2013. In Basel in 1661 the city acquired a private collection threatened with sales abroad, the Amerbach-Kabinett , and made it publicly available in 1671. In 1688 Johann Daniel Major opened a public natural and cultural history museum in Kiel , the Museum Cimbricum . The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum was opened in Braunschweig in 1754 . It was the second public museum in the world after the British Museum , but the first public museum on the European continent.

In some cities in the German- speaking area , civic museums were founded in the 19th century , for example the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main . In many cases, clubs have also acted on a smaller scale or for local conditions, e.g. B. in local museums or mining museums .

Today museums in London and Paris attract particularly large numbers of visitors; In 2011, none of the ten most visited museums in the world were in Germany. Often investments are made in museums to increase the international prestige of cities.

The changed visitor interest is taken into account by means of special forms such as the adventure museum.

Functions, tasks, activities, protection

In addition to the museum education , the restoration and preservation of value all museums maintain permanent collections (permanent exhibitions ) and very often special exhibitions (also with works from other museums). Further tasks can be the management of a study collection or a magazine . Some museums also have libraries . In some cases, the position is taken that museums and their curators should also be active in research .

The cultural assets stored in museums are threatened in many countries by natural disasters , wars , terrorist attacks or other emergencies. To this end, an internationally essential aspect is a strong bundling of existing resources and the networking of existing specialist skills in order to prevent any loss or damage to cultural property or to keep damage as low as possible. According to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property of 1954 and its 2nd Protocol of 1999, Blue Shield International is the international partner for museums . For legal reasons, there are many international partnerships between museums, libraries and archives on the one hand and the local Blue Shield organizations on the other.

There were extensive Blue Shield missions to protect museums and cultural assets in armed conflicts, for example in 2011 in Egypt and Libya, in 2013 in Syria and in 2014 in Mali and Iraq. “No Strike Lists” are drawn up especially for crisis areas in order to protect museums from air strikes.

Museology, museum studies, museography

The subject of museology is not the museum, even if this may seem obvious. Museology is, in the real sense, a science that deals with the phenomenon of museality. The central question is whether and to what extent an object is a signifier for its environment. Of central interest is the network of relationships in which an object is perceived. This applies both to the context of origin and the context in which the object was brought, as well as to connotations that the object or its image receives from the viewer's background of knowledge and experience.

The findings of museology are of practical relevance above all for the analysis and design of object-related communication between exhibition organizers and visitors. Samuel Quiccheberg and Johann Daniel Major can be considered the founders of museology . Zbynek Z. Stránský ( Brno ) established modern museology . His work in the German-speaking area was continued and expanded. a. by Friedrich Waidacher ( Graz ), whose handbook for general museology is considered one of the standard works for modern museology.

In Europe , museology is mainly taught in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, as well as in Finland , the Czech Republic and Croatia . In Germany , the professorship for museology was established by Guido Fackler at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg in autumn 2010 . The bachelor's degree in Museology and Material Culture and the master's degree in Museum Studies , Museum and Ancient Cultures and Collections - Provenance - Cultural Heritage are offered here. Furthermore, there is for qualified students in the PhD program Museology / Museum Studies the possibility of a museological research field as a doctor of philosophy PhD . In Leipzig there is a bachelor's degree in museology at the HTWK .

In contrast to museology in the narrower sense, the, z. B. Museum studies taught at HTW Berlin with practical museum questions. There is also a master’s degree in museum management and communication (also HTW Berlin). In Switzerland there is a post-graduate course museum practice entitled Certificate of Advanced Studies at the University in Chur .

Under museography finally refers museum staging art. This involves the implementation of the scenography on the museum exhibition.

Museum education, communication in the museum

The science and teaching of the communication of the collection is the museum education .

Museums as event space

Museums are also used as places for events that should take place in an extraordinary setting. Reasons for the museums are to build bridges to the topic of the museum, otherwise rather remote people and to develop additional sources of income for one's own work. Examples of museums that function as an event space in addition to their actual work:

measure up

  • Exponatec Cologne (Cologne)
  • Mutec - International Trade Fair for Museum and Exhibition Technology (Leipzig)
  • Museum Connections (Paris)
  • Cultura Suisse (Bern)

Museums by type of museum

The Institute for Museum Research distinguishes between nine types of museums:

  1. Folklore and local history museums : Folklore , local history , farmhouses , mills , agriculture , local and regional history
  2. Art museums : art , church treasures , sacred art , film , photography
  3. Design museums : design , architecture , handicrafts , ceramics and glass
  4. Castle and Castle Museums : palaces and castles with inventory , monasteries with inventory, historical libraries
  5. Natural history museums : zoology , botany , veterinary medicine , natural history , geosciences , paleontology , natural history
  6. Natural science and technical museums : technology , transport , mining , metallurgy , chemistry , physics , astronomy , history of technology , human medicine , pharmacy , industrial history , other related sciences
  7. Historical and archaeological museums : history (non-traditional local history), memorials (only with exhibits), personalia (history), archeology , prehistory and early history , militaria
  8. Collection museums with complex holdings: Several collection focuses from areas 1–6 and 8
  9. Special museums of cultural history: cultural history , religious and ecclesiastical history , ethnology , children's museums , toys , music history , brewing and viticulture , literary history , fire brigade , musical instruments , other specialties
  10. Several museums in one museum complex: Several museums with different collections that are housed in the same building.

Museums by place or country

Digital museums

Museum portals on the Internet allow further research into museums. There are also first approaches to purely digital museums or virtual museums, such as the Virtual State Museum Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

See also


  • Claudio Beccarelli: Funding Museums. Theory and application using the example of the Swiss museum landscape. Haupt-Verlag, Bern 2005, ISBN 978-3-258-06923-4 .
  • Peter J. Bräunlein (ed.): Religion and Museum. For the visual representation of religion / s in public space. transcript, Bielefeld 2004, ISBN 3-89942-225-2 .
  • Bernadette Collenberg-Plotnikov: The Museum as a Provocation of Philosophy - Contributions to a Current Debate. (= Edition Museum, Volume 27). transcript, Bielefeld 2018, ISBN 978-3-8394-4060-5 .
  • Douglas Crimp : About the ruins of the museum. The museum, photography and postmodernism. Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1996, ISBN 978-3-364-00328-3 .
  • Jean-Louis Déotte : Le musée, l'origine de l'esthétique (= La philosophie en commun ). 2nd Edition. L'Harmattan, Paris 2010, ISBN 978-2-7384-1557-8 (French).
  • Christoph Hahn, Siegmar Hohl (ed.): The great museum guide. Collections on art, culture, nature and technology in Germany. Bassermann Verlag, Gütersloh / Munich 2000, ISBN 978-3-8094-5013-9 .
  • Anke te Heesen: Introductory Theories of the Museum. Junius, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-88506-698-9 .
  • Joachim Kallinich: No breathing space - history is made: Museums in the adventure and media society. Humboldt University, Berlin 2003, ISBN 978-3-86004-161-1 .
  • Volker Kirchberg: Social functions of museums: macro, meso- and micro-sociological perspectives. (= Berlin writings on museum studies, volume 20). VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 978-3-531-14406-1 .
  • Claude Lapaire, Martin Reinhold Schärer: Swiss museum guides including the Principality of Liechtenstein. 4th edition. Haupt, Bern / Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-258-03409-5 .
  • Carolin Meister, Dorothea von Hantelmann (ed.): The exhibition. Politics of a ritual. Diaphanes Verlag, Zurich / Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-03734-090-5 .
  • Klemens Mörmann (ed.): The German museum guide in color. Museums and collections in the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin. Krüger, Frankfurt am Main 1979, ISBN 978-3-8105-1205-5 .
  • Donald Preziosi, Claire Farago (Ed.): Grasping the World. The Idea of ​​the Museum. Aldershot, Ashgate 2004, ISBN 978-0-7546-0835-6 .
  • Christian Reder: Vienna Museum Talks. About dealing with art and museums. Comments from artists and experts. Falter Verlag, Vienna 1988, ISBN 3-85439-039-4 .
  • Wilhelm Schäfer: Museums in the life of our time. De Gruyter, Berlin 1965, ISBN 3-11-130630-5 .
  • Heinz Schütz (Ed.): Museum boom. Change of an institution. (= Kunstforum International , Volume 251). Kunstforum International, Cologne 2017, ISSN  0177-3674 .
  • Barbara Steiner (Ed.): The conquered museum - Zu Carte Blanche, a research project of the gallery for contemporary art. Jovis, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86859-067-8 .
  • Peter Stepan (ed.): The German museums. Westermann's colored guide through all important museums and collections. Westermann non-fiction book, Braunschweig 1983, ISBN 3-14-508854-8 .
  • Thomas Thiemeyer: History in the Museum. Theory - practice - professional fields. A. Francke Verlag, Tübingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-8252-5045-4 .
  • Chris van Uffelen : Museum architecture. Ullman, Potsdam 2010, ISBN 978-3-8331-6058-5 .
  • Oswald Mathias Ungers : General information about the museum. One-room, directionless buildings. In: Oswald Mathias Ungers Architecture. Berlin lectures 1964–1965. (= archplus - magazine for architecture and urban development - special edition for the 80th birthday of Oswald Mathias Ungers, July 2006, volume 179). ARCH + Verlag, Aachen 2006, ISBN 3-931435-08-3 , pp. 24-41.
  • Markus Walz (Ed.): Museum manual. History, tasks, perspectives. J. B. Metzler, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-476-02375-9 .
  • Tony Bennett: The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics. Routledge, London 1995, ISBN 978-0-415-05388-4 (English).
  • Bernhard Graf, Hanno Möbius (ed.): On the history of museums in the 19th century 1789–1918. (= Berlin writings on museum studies, Volume 22). G-und-H-Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-931768-92-8 .
  • Suzanne Greub, Thierry Greub (Eds.): Museums in the 21st Century - Ideas Projects Buildings. 2. revised and exp. Edition. Prestel, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-7913-3839-2 .
  • Olaf Hartung: Small German Museum History. From the Enlightenment to the early 20th century. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar 2010, ISBN 978-3-412-20536-2 .
  • Alexis Joachimides (Ed.): Museum productions. On the history of the institution of the art museum. The Berlin museum landscape 1830–1990. Verlag der Kunst, Dresden / Basel 1995, ISBN 3-364-00325-4 .
  • Alexis Joachimides: The museum reform movement in Germany and the emergence of the modern museum 1880-1940. Verlag der Kunst, Dresden / Basel 2001, ISBN 978-90-5705-171-5 .
  • Alexander Klein: Museum of the Museum - History of the German museums in their world. Thelem, Dresden 2018, ISBN 978-3-945363-66-9 .
  • Kristina Kratz-Kessemeier, Andrea Meyer, Bénédicte Savoy (ed.): Museum history. Annotated source texts 1750–1950. Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-496-01425-6 .
  • Klaus Minges: The Collection of the Early Modern Age. Criteria of order and specialization. (= Museums, past and present, volume 3). LIT, Münster 1998, ISBN 978-3-8258-3607-8 .
  • Krzysztof Pomian: The origin of the museum: From collecting. Translated from the French by Gustav Roßler. Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, Berlin 1988, ISBN 978-3-8031-2302-2 .
  • Avraam M. Razgon: The Museum Network in the USSR. History and development tendencies. In: New Museum Studies. Volume 30, No. 3. VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1987, ISSN  0028-3282 , pp. 180-185.
  • Bénédicte Savoy (ed.): Temple of Art. The creation of the public museum in Germany 1701–1815. Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 2006, ISBN 978-3-8053-3637-6 .
  • Hildegard K. Vieregg: History of the museum. An introduction. Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-7705-4623-7 .
Museum analysis
  • Joachim Baur (ed.): Museum analysis. Methods and contours of a new research field. transcript, Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-89942-814-8 .
Museum didactics
  • Olaf Hartung: Current trends in museum didactics and their significance for historical learning. In: Hans-Jürgen Pandel, Vadim Oswalt (ed.): History culture. The presence of the past in the present. Wochenschau Verlag, Schwalbach am Taunus 2009, ISBN 978-3-89974-408-8 , pp. 149–168.
Museum education

See: Museum Education # Literature


See: Museology # Literature

Case studies
  • Philipp Aumann, Ernst Seidl: COURAGE to 'body knowledge'. Tasks and strategies of the Museum of the University of Tübingen. In: Cornelia Weber, Klaus Mauersberger (Ed.): University museums and collections in everyday university life. Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86004-252-6 , pp. 119-126. ( PDF )
  • Jana Bürgers: Myth and Museum. Cossack myth and nation building in post-Soviet Ukraine using the example of the Cossack History Museum on the island of Chortycja. In: Bianka Pietrow-Ennker (Hrsg.): Culture in the history of Russia. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 978-3-525-36293-8 , pp. 349-368.
  • Christian Ganzer: Revolution in the Brest local history museum. In: Olga Kurilo (ed.): The Second World War in the Museum: Continuity and Change. Avinus, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-930064-82-3 , pp. 149-157.
  • Christian Ganzer, Alena Paškovič: “Heroism, tragedy, daring.” The Brest Fortress Defense Museum. In: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde (Ed.): Eastern Europe . Issue 12/2010. BWV Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin 2010, ISSN  0030-6428 , pp. 81-96 ( PDF ( Memento from March 18, 2016 in the Internet Archive )).
  • Susanne Gesser, Martin Handschin, Angela Jannelli, Sibylle Lichtensteiger (eds.): The participatory museum. Between participation and user-generated content. New demands on cultural and historical exhibitions. transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2012, ISBN 978-3-8376-1726-9 .
  • Jana Scholze: Medium exhibition. Readings on museum design in Oxford, Leipzig, Amsterdam and Berlin. transcript, Bielefeld 2004, ISBN 978-3-89942-192-7 .
  • Thomas Thiemeyer: Continuation of the war by other means. The two world wars in the museum. (= War in History, Volume 62). Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn [a. a.] 2010, ISBN 978-3-506-76919-0 .
Trade journals
  • Museum currently. The magazine for exhibition practice and museology in German-speaking countries
  • Museum studies. Edited by the German Museum Association
  • Magazin Museum, also Magazin Edited by Uwe Strauch
  • New museum. Edited by the Austrian Museum Association

Web links

Commons : Museum  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Museum  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikiquote: Museum  - Quotes

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Museum definition according to the ethical guidelines for museums from ICOM, 2010. In: March 10, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2019 .
  2. ^ Wolfgang Kemp: Art comes into the museum . In: Funkkolleg Kunst, cover letter 3 . S. 41 .
  3. Austrian Museum Seal of Approval. ICOM - Austrian National Committee, accessed on December 5, 2015 .
  4. cf. Isabelle-Constance v. Opalinski: Shots at civilization. In: FAZ. from August 20, 2014.
  5. Karl Habsburg in an interview. In: Abuse of cultural goods is punishable. In: Wiener Zeitung. June 29, 2012.
  6. Eden Stiffman: Cultural Preservation in Disasters, War Zones. Presents Big Challenges. In: The Chronicle Of Philanthropy. May 11, 2015.
  7. ^ Corine Wegener, Marjan Otter: Cultural Property at War: Protecting Heritage during Armed Conflict. In: The Getty Conservation Institute: Newsletter. 23.1, spring 2008.
  8. ^ Markus Walz (ed.): Museum manual. History, tasks, perspectives. 2016, p. 238 ff.
  9. History & Definition. (No longer available online.) In: Deutscher Museumsbund, archived from the original on September 28, 2007 ; Retrieved December 5, 2015 .
  10. Nina Schedlmayer: Treasure Puzzle . In: Profile . No. 13/2013 , March 25, 2013, p. 108-109 ( online [accessed December 5, 2015]).
  11. The most visited museums in the world. In: Der Tagesspiegel. October 15, 2012, accessed December 5, 2015 (2011 figures, source: Arts Newspaper).
  12. Ulrike Knöfel: Golden Age . In: Der Spiegel . No. 14 , 2013, p. 124-126 ( Online - Mar. 30, 2013 ).
  13. ^ Hanno Rauterberg: Research in the Museum: Collecting, Sorting, Deciphering. In: Zeit Online. July 1, 2010, accessed December 5, 2015 .
  14. See e.g. B. Marilyn E. Phelan: Museum Law: A Guide for Officers, Directors, and Counsel. 2014, p. 419 ff.
  15. cf. Homepage of the US Committee of the Blue Shield, accessed October 26, 2016; Isabelle-Constance v. Opalinski: Shots at civilization. In: FAZ. August 20, 2014; Hans Haider: Misuse of cultural goods is a criminal offense. In: Wiener Zeitung. June 29, 2012.
  16. cf. Peter Stone Inquiry: Monuments Men. In: Apollo - The International Art Magazine. February 2, 2015; Mehroz Baig: When War Destroys Identity. In: Worldpost. May 12, 2014; Fabian von Posser: World Heritage sites bombed, cultural treasures hawked. In: The world. November 5, 2013; Rüdiger Heimlich Desert City Palmyra. Protect cultural heritage before it is destroyed. In: Berliner Zeitung. March 28, 2016.
  17. ^ Museology and Museum Studies / Museum Studies at the University of Würzburg. Professorship for Museology at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg, accessed on September 13, 2017 .
  18. Bachelor courses: Museology. HTWK Leipzig, accessed on September 13, 2017 .
  19. ^ Martin Roth: Scenography. On the creation of new visual worlds in the theme park of EXPO 2000 . In: Deutscher Museumsbund (ed.): Museum studies . tape 66 , issue 1.Holy-Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 25 ("The essential basic element of scenography [...] is the interpretation of the content with artistic means.").
  20. Official website of Exponatec Cologne
  21. Official Website of Mutec
  22. Official website of the Museum Connections fair (French, English)
  23. ^ Museum Connections. In: Retrieved May 13, 2018 .
  24. Official website of the Cultura Suisse Messe (German, English, French)
  25. Cultura Suisse. In: Retrieved May 13, 2018 .
  26. National Museums in Berlin - Prussian Cultural Heritage, Institute for Museum Research (Ed.): Overall statistical survey of the museums of the Federal Republic of Germany for the year 2008 . Issue 63, 2009, ISSN  0931-7961 ( [PDF; 692 kB ; accessed on December 5, 2015]).
  27. ^ Hubertus coal: Review by Alexander Klein: Museum des Museums - History of German museums in their world. In: (sehepunkte 19, No. 3). March 15, 2019, accessed November 16, 2019 .