Welcome to ICOFOM, the International Committee for Museology of the International Council of Museums! This committee, which is one of the most popular of ICOM, is dedicated to the study of the theoretical grounds that guide the museum work. Museology is taught around the world, sometimes under different names (museum studies, museum theory, museumswissenschaft, critical museology,... ). ICOFOM is the only truly international forum for discussing all these forms.
Why are museums so popular in today's world? The answer is far from obvious, and the conception of such places is far from being common to all civilizations. We are interested in this specific relation between man and reality, which pushed him over the centuries to develop a number of institutions such as studioli, cabinets of curiosities, museums, etc. What is the essence of museum work? To attract tourists and generate foreign exchange, to educate and socially include the masses, to keep and safe real things, to preserve heritage, to explore our world… : there are so many different answers to the study of this particular phenomenon that fascinates and attracts millions of visitors worldwide .
Our research focuses on the entire museum field: on conventional museums, open-air museums or cybermuseums on the collection object or the real thing, the musealization and ethics of the museum, on preservation, museum research and communication, etc. a lot of other ICOM committees are related to certain categories of museums (fine arts, cities, archeology, natural sciences ...) or certain types of museum activities (collections, education, management, conservation ...). Our goal is to combine knowledge from multiple experts working within these committees, and other places, while connecting them with the results of our own research. This is particularly what we have tried through the Dictonnaire encyclopédique de muséologie, published in 2011, and the Key Concepts of Museology , which summarize some basic concepts of the museum field and are available in several languages on our website.
By attending our meetings, you will have the chance to discover other ways of understanding the museum: whether China, Japan, Brazil and Germany , France or the Czech Republic, the way to conceive the museal field differs significantly , sometimes completely from one country to another. Throughout the reading of our publications, including through ICOFOM Studies Series, our journal, you will have the chance to meet, hopefully, very rewarding views for your personal reflection. The richness of our network depends on its members. We are pleased to have a large number of museologists particularly active on all continents , participating in our collective adventure.
If, like us, you live passionately in the museum world and try to understand their operation and purpose, we would be very happy to welcome you among us.
President of ICOFOM