Wednesday, May 18, 2016

International Museum's Day!

By Laura Love
On Wednesday, May 18th 2016, the Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre will be celebrating INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM’S DAY! This event is celebrated internationally to raise awareness of the importance of museums as crucial community centres, institutions of knowledge, cultural exchange and locations of enjoyable learning and has been celebrated by the ICOM (The International Council of Museums) since 1977.

We decided to celebrate with a cake!
The term ‘museum’ has held many different meanings since being translated by the classical Greek word, mouseion, meaning ‘the seat of muses.’ The first ‘museum’ of this context is thought to have been the Museum at Alexandria, the great library that held irreplaceable manuscripts of science and math, and where great scholarly debate occurred. In the early 15th century the definition of museum would be used to describe the collection of Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence, that included fine art, sculpture and manuscript. This did however put more of an emphasis on the comprehensive of the collection itself and less about philosophical discussion and academic pursuits as the Museum at Alexandria did. Changing again, in 17th Century Europe, museum was being used to describe what were called, ‘Cabinets of Curiosities.’ These rooms were characterised by “haphazard assemblages of
curious, wondrous, or singular things.” Souvenirs were collected usually by the master of the house from his ‘Grand Tours’ and kept in his own private museum.  If these private collections were transferred in any way to a library or university, which in many cases they were, a separate building would have been built to house and accommodate these items. Thus, the idea of an institution called a museum, an establishment to preserve and display a collection to the public was well established in the 18th century.

Today, museums have taken on an even more encompassing definition. In 2007, the International Council of Museums agreed that, ‘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.’

This year, The ICOM has dedicated the 2016 theme of International Museum’s Day to, ‘Museums and Cultural Landscapes.’ The IOCM has released this statement for this year, “The theme Museums and Cultural Landscapes makes museums responsible for their landscapes, asking them to contribute knowledge and expertise and take an active role in their management and upkeep. The primary mission of museums is to oversee heritage, whether it be inside or outside their walls. Their natural vocation is to expand their mission and implement their own activities in the open field of cultural landscape and heritage that surrounds them and for which they can assume varying degrees of responsibility.”

The Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie recognizes and takes the role of cultural organization, in our gathering of our community’s history, traditions, oral histories and preservation of tangible items seriously. 

The Peace River Museum will be open from 10am to 7pm on Wednesday, May 18th 2016 for a Museum Open House! Do you have ANY questions about donation or loan procedures? Or would you like to know the process that an item goes through once accepted into the museum’s permanent collection? Please, come with your questions, and have an exclusive sneak peek into the Peace River Museum, Archives, and Mackenzie Centre’s world!

No comments: