ETYM Latin, a temple of the Muses, hence, a place of study, from Greek, a Muse.
A depository for collecting and displaying objects having scientific or historical or artistic value.
A place or building for the storage and display of works of art, scientific specimens, or other objects of cultural importance.
In Ancient Greece the mouseion was a temple dedicated to the Muses. By the Renaissance, the term museum was applied to the room where a scholar examined and studied his collection of classical antiquities. The notion of a national or state collection which could be viewed by the general public began as a result of the French Revolution and the opening of the Louvre Gallery 1793. Before that, the British Museum had been established by an act of Parliament 1753 as a public institution. More recently, museums have sought to combine the aims of scholarship and conservation with a more entertaining approach for the ordinary visitor.
A 1992 survey of 100 museums and institutions worldwide indicated that there were approximately 2.5 billion biological specimens held in public collections, but a third of these were in an extremely poor state. Each year 30 million specimens were lost through inadequate care.