International Museum Day, also referred to as IMD, is a day that is celebrated all over the world and is held annually on or around 18 May. It is usually coordinated by the International Council of Museums or ICOM. The event highlights a certain theme that changes each year and reflects a relevant theme or issue that museums face internationally every year.
International Museum Day offers museum professionals the opportunity to meet the public, alert them to the challenges that museums face, and raise public awareness of the role museums have to play in the development of society.
Why is International Museum Day Celebrated?
International Museum Day is celebrated by museums all over the world on the 18th of May, with the aim of generating awareness about the vital role of museums in
- Community building
- National cooperation
- International cooperation
- Rich cultural exchange between people within different ethnicities as well as countries and communities
- Understand the intricate connection between history and culture
Theme of International Museum Day 2022
The theme of International Museum Day 2022 is ‘Power of Museums’. The International Council of Museums, also known as the ICOM, details its goals for International Museum Day 2022 as thus:
The Power of Achieving Sustainability
The United Nations Organization uses museums as a means of implementing its Sustainable Development Goals. They contribute to a wide variety of goals which include fostering social economy and short-circuiting and disseminating scientific information on environmental challenges.
The Power Of Innovating On Digitalisation And Accessibility
Museums have rapidly become innovative, with new technologies being developed and applied to everyday life. Digital innovation in museums can make them even more accessible and engaging than ever before, helping audiences understand complex nuanced concepts in a digestible way.
The Power Of Community Building Through Education
With their collections and programs, museums create a social fabric that is essential in the process of community building. By upholding democratic values and offering lifelong learning opportunities to those who visit, museums contribute to shaping an informed and engaged civil society.
The Role Of Museums in Education
Museums offer a rich collection of knowledge to students that they do not usually find anywhere else. Given below is the role of museums in education:
Practical History Lessons
Museums can be seen as practical lessons of history, which can have a direct impact on the way students learn history. A practical example of a piece of architecture or artifact of historical significance will leave a much more lasting impression on the lesson instead of using just pictures and words to describe the same. Such an experiential learning experience is quite a holistic one and provides a more comprehensive and complete learning experience to the learners.
Instructional Education for Staff & Students
Museums offer more than eighteen million instructional hours annually for educational programs in the form of:
- Guided tours for students
- Staff visits to schools
- School outreach through traveling exhibits
- Professional development for teachers
Students who attend field trips to an art museum experience a significant improvement in critical thinking skills, historical empathy, and tolerance in general. This increase is even more significant in students from rural or high-poverty regions.
Highly Reliable Sources of Information
Since museums house some of the most guarded and unique artifacts related to historical events, they can be one of the most valuable sources of information regarding historical events, complete with empirical evidence for the same.
Role of Museums in Society
Museums are not some archaic collection of artifacts forgotten in the sands of time, they have important contemporary real-life uses in society. A few of these are detailed below:
Record of The Past
This is arguably the most important use of museums. History is something that offers valuable life lessons for people, either on an individual level or in a community context. It helps people create markers for events that have happened before so that they do not repeat the same mistakes in the future. Museums serve the purpose of both limiting as well as enabling access to information that connects directly or indirectly to history that is to be remembered and preserved.
A by-product of keeping records of past events is that they act as a record of the culture of a particular place or time (or both). Preserving culture is a huge part of the documentation of human history because it accounts for a large number of civilizations and the cultures that come along with them. The study of human culture is known as cultural anthology, and it gives us an insight into what has been humanity’s friend over the years, and what has been not.
Sometimes, the purpose of a museum is to inspire awe. From the Dog Collar Museum and British Lawnmower Museum in England to the Bread Museum in Salzstadelgasse 10, Ulm, Germany, the idea behind some museums is to bring light to the history of something that does not, in an immediate appearance, seem to have a lot of historical significance and yet, does so to a great extent.
Museums are a way to preserve and observe the past from an objective point of view, and their influence on society is much more than what is seen on the surface. International Museum Day is a way of acknowledging the struggles of all the archeologists, geologists, historians, and several others who put their lives into finding the story behind the numerous artifacts that are being stored and archived in museums for people from all over the world to learn from, study, or simply marvel at. With more and more technologies being experimented with, museums are also evolving with the times.
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