Association of Manitoba Museums

About Museums

What is a Museum?

  • A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.

            International Council Of Museums (I.C.O.M.), 2007

  • Museums are institutions created in the public interest. They engage their visitors, foster deeper understanding, and promote the enjoyment and sharing of authentic cultural and natural heritage. Museums acquire, preserve, research, interpret and exhibit the tangible and intangible evidence of society and nature. As educational institutions, museums provide a physical forum for critical inquiry and investigation...

Museums are permanent, not-for-profit institutions whose exhibits are regularly open to the general public. This definition encompasses institutions that pursue similar objectives and accomplish most or some of a museum’s functions. Accordingly, the following are also recognized as museums:

  • Exhibition places such as art galleries and science and interpretation centres;
  • Institutions with plant and animal collections and displays, such as botanical gardens, biodomes, zoos, aquariums and insectariums;
  • Cultural establishments that facilitate the preservation, continuation and management of tangible and intangible living heritage resources, such as keeping houses and heritage centres;
  • Natural, archaeological, ethnographic and historical monuments and sites

Canadian Museums Association 

  • A museum is a non-profit, permanent establishment, that does not exist primarily for the purpose of conducting temporary exhibitions and that is open to the public during regular hours and administered in the public interest for the purpose of conserving, preserving, studying, interpreting, assembling and exhibiting to the public for the instruction and enjoyment of the public, objects and specimens or educational and cultural value including artistic, scientific, historical and technological material.

            Association of Manitoba Museums, Standards Document, October 1994