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Types of Museums


There are many different kinds of museums to work at and visit. Here is a list of what you might find while you’re out exploring!

History Museum: History museums can be housed in modern buildings or inside a historic site. Collections document the history of a specific region, time period, or other theme that pertains to its Mission Statement.
Examples: The Henry Ford, Smithsonian's Museum of American History

Historic House: A historic house is furnished in period décor and usually interprets a fairly narrow aspect of history. They often commemorate a famous person or a historical or regional event.
Examples: The Biltmore, Paul Revere House, Olana

Art Museum: Art museums feature fine arts collections including paintings, sculptures, furniture and other decorative arts. Many art museums have highly specialized collecting objectives.
Examples: Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Met, The Museum of Modern Art

Open Air Museum: A collection of historic buildings in a village setting is called an “open air museum.” These museums usually feature first person interpreters and craft and cooking demonstrations. Many open air museums also include livestock and farming demonstrations.
Examples: Sturbridge Village, The Farmers' Museum, Greenfield Village

Maritime Museum: Museums that focus on water-related topics such as boating, shipwrecks or whaling are called maritime museums.
Examples: Mystic Seaport, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Science Center: A museum that focuses on science is usually called a science center. They feature interactive exhibitions relating to scientific themes.
Examples: Great Lakes Science Center, The Exploratorium

Natural History Museum: Natural history museums explore topics such as dinosaurs, animals, fossils, and native peoples.
Examples: The Field Museum, Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History

Aviation Museum: An aviation museum focuses on the history of aircraft, aviation and flight. Most aviation museums contain a collection of vintage airplanes.
Examples: National Air & Space Museum, College Park Aviation Museum

Zoos: A zoo’s collection contains live animals from around the world. Many zoos participate in conservation programs to preserve endangered species.
Examples: The National Zoo, The Columbus Zoo, The Brooklyn Zoo
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Content copyright © 2013 by Kim Kenney. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kim Kenney. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Kim Kenney for details.

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