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The history of museums
Geoffrey Lewis (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
A history of the institutions that preserve and interpret the material evidence of the human race, human activity, and the natural world. As such, museums have a long history, springing from what may be an innate human desire to collect and interpret and having discernible origins in large collections built up by individuals and groups before the modern era. This article traces the history of museums, first by noting the etymology of the word museum and its derivatives, next by describing the private collecting conducted in ancient and medieval times, and finally by reviewing the development of modern public museums from the Renaissance to the present day.
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