Museums & Historical Sites
We explore and share insights from the world’s best Museums and Historical Sites across the globe. There are over 60,000 museums and historic sites around the world, and we aim to share the very best of these.
Interest in museums, art galleries and historical sites reflect the economic, intellectual and social health of a city and a community. Visit with us the very best of the world’s Museums.
“The most effective way to destroy people
is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
– George Orwell
Take a Museum Tour
- Tour of Artists in Museums
- Tour of Women in the Arts
- Tour of Mythological Art in Museums
- Tour of Popular Sculpture in Museums
- Tour of Christian Art in Museums
- Tour of Buddhist Art in Museums
- Tour of Egyptian Art in Museums
- Tour of Mesopotamian Art
- Tour of Islamic Art
- Tour of Maritime Museums
- Tour of Natural History Museums
- Tour of Science & Technology Museums
- Tour of Military & War Museums
- Tour of Air & Space Museums
- Tour of Archaeological Museums
- Tour of Police & Prison Museums
- Tour of Historic House Museums
- Tour of Money, Banking and Mint Museums
- Tour of Specialist Museums
- Tour of Historical Sites
- Tour of Popular Paintings in Museums
- Tour of Ancient Artefacts in Museums
- Tour of Portraits in Museums
- Tour of Popular Museums and Art
Specific Museums, Artworks, Artifacts and Historical Sites can be found by searching for museums by region and country in the above menu, or by exploring the categories below or by using the search function on the sidebar.Paintings Sculpture Artifacts Mythological Popular Portraits Historical Sites Natural History Science & Tech Maritime Military & War Air & Space Archaeological Police & Prison Specialist Christian Art Buddhist Art Egyptian Art
Visiting a museum is an enjoyable and enlightening way to invest your precious time. However, many of us rush through Museums, Art Galleries or Historical Sites, as we rush through life, without appreciating the full significance of the experience. “Joy of Museums” (JOM) offers you an opportunity to find understanding and meaning in the history, beauty and the wonder to be found in the world’s great Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites.
The content on JOM will grow, evolve and develop into a series of books. This website is an evolving process of creating and publishing in real-time. Sharing with a world audience and seeking feedback and encouragement as the site’s content grows with time. New insights and content are added every day, and feedback is welcome. Follow us via Twitter and Facebook for regular updates and please share to help us grow our community of interest.
We have enjoyed visiting many of the museums featured in Joy of Museums – JOM. This website is dedicated to sharing and exploring beauty, understanding and meaning in all types of Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites across the world.
- In developed economies, about 25% of the population will visit a museum or historical site in 12 months.
- More Women than Men visit museums.
- The Top 5, most visited encyclopedic museums worldwide are:
- Louvre, Paris
- National Museum of China, Beijing
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
- Vatican Museums, Vatican City
- British Museum, London
- The UK has one of the most significant creative and cultural economies in the world, relative to Economic Size.
- Museums contributed $50 billion to the U.S. economy each year.
- There are about 850 million visits each year to American museums.
- Museums are considered the most trustworthy source of information in America. They are rated higher than news media, researchers, the U.S. government, or academics.
- International Museum Day (IMD) is celebrated every year on or around 18 May
How to avoid Museum Fatigue
- Purchase tickets in advance of your visit and skip the long lines when possible.
- Do your research and visit during non-peak hours or season, so that you can get close and personal with a masterpiece.
- In the large encyclopedic museums, accept the fact that you’re not going to be able to see everything in one day — plan to re-visit.
- Guided tours of the museum’s highlights is generally a good option for a museum that is new for you.
- Bring comfortable shoes and leave the extra clothing and bags in the locker — travel light within the museum walls.
- Take advantage of a courtyard and museum café or restaurant, for hydration and nourishment.
- Ask the staff for directions and advice.
- Collect a Museum Map and Highlights Guide at the front desk.
- Read “Joy of Museums” before your visit. Or use the Museum’s WiFi to connect to our site.
The History of Museums
The word “museum” has classical Greek origins. It meant “seat of the Muses” and was used to identify a philosophical institution or a place of contemplation. The Greek form was “mouseion”, and it was translated into the Latin form, “museum”. “Museum” was used in Roman times to nominate places of philosophical discussion or a building devoted to learning or the arts. By the 1600s, the term “museum” was being used in Europe to describe “collections of curiosities”.
The earliest use of the word “Museum” in English was in reference to institutions such as libraries where objects were displayed, and the term started being recorded in writing during the 1680s. Today, a museum is a place where objects of historical, artistic or scientific interest are exhibited, preserved and studied.
The modern museum can trace its origins to private collections established by wealthy individuals during the Renaissance. Prominent figures such as the Catholic Popes in the Vatican accelerated the interest in antiquities and art masterpieces, and National leaders such as Kings followed the practice. These collections were symbols of power and prestige; however, in time, a spirit of inquiry led to a different purpose and broader participation, not necessarily limited to religious or national rulers and leaders.
These new collectors were mainly focused on the study and advancement of knowledge. Essential to that focus was the education of the public and institutes were established with this aim, as their public mission. As the prestige of these institutions increased, private collections found their way into public or corporate institutions which provided greater security and accessibility.
The first institution to be granted a significant private collection was the University of Oxford. The conditions of the gift included that a suitable place is built to receive it. Thus the Ashmolean Museum, opened in 1683, based on Elias Ashmole private collection. The Ashmolean Museum later relocated to another building (as seen below) near the University of Oxford, and the original 1683 building is now occupied by the Museum of the History of Science, at the University of Oxford.
Soon after the British Museum was established in 1759 as a public institution. Followed by the Louvre in 1793. Today, the purpose of Museums vary from institution to institution. Some focus on education and academic study others on conservation and others on commercial endeavours.
There are many different types of museums. Some of the categories of Museums include:
- History museums
- Art museum (or art gallery)
- General museums or multidisciplinary museums
- Natural history and natural science museums
- Museums of science and technology
The Australian War Memorial is Australia’s National Memorial and a War Museums
Museums are dedicated to preserving and interpreting objects created by humans or the environment. With the increasing interest in museums, we see an explosion of niche museums. Below is a short list of some of the many different specialist museums.
- Aerospace museums
- Anthropology museums
- Archaeological museums
- Automobile museums
- Bank museums
- Ceramics museums
- City museums
- Dinosaur museums
- Fossil museums
- Geology museums
- Historic house museums
- Lighthouse museums
- Military and war museums
- Medical museums
- National museums
- Performing arts museums
- Postal museums
- Prison museums
- Religious museums
- Museum ships
- Technology museums
- University museums
- Wax museums
- War museums or memorial
- Zoology museums
“Museums awaken the Mind and Soul,
In Unique Ways.
Museums preserve Histories and Stories,
Heritage and Memories.
Museums are for Life Long Learning,
Make the world a Better Place.
Museums have something for Everyone,
They are Trusted.
Museums provide Perspective,
Solace and Comfort.”
– Joy of Museums
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
– George Orwell
Photo Credit: JOM; Attribution: Wikipedia Content under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License 1) Oxyman [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 2) By Sarah Casey (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons 3) By Sam from Canberra, Au