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What is the primary role of the museum in the modern world?

Museums have many roles, responsibilities and functions, some of which arose with the origin of western museums hundreds of years ago, others very new. This is a major debate in the field of Museum Studies as well as other associated fields. Some historical roles have included the museum as a place for academic research, as an educational institution, or both. Most museums continue to perform in this role. More recently the museum has been championed as a place of social interaction, a center for social justice and even a space for experimentation, invention and innovation where visitors can learn how to get involved. What do you think the museum does?


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  • Nov 19 2012: I think it does exactly what you have stated. Museums pose a place where history and mystery come alive. A place where imagination and creativity are tangible. Online for example, you can only research, it does not give you a grasp of the feel, smell or even the sheer size of objects. Coming together with classmates, friends and family discussing topics is a social event that I would find difficult to duplicate online.

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