Collecting Objects of Rare Historical, Artistic and Scientific Importance

Have a hobby of collecting objects of rare scientific, artistic or historical importance?

Museum studies simply defined is a field that encompasses the ideas and issues involved in the museum profession from the practical day to day skills needed to operate a museum to theories on its societal role. It involves learning the ethics surrounding museum collections and the role of museums in edifying, elucidating, enlightening and thereby specializing in art, history and culture. It is a profession where history is revealed not through history books, but first and, through solid artifacts of history lined across museum walls. It is designed to acquaint students with how and why collecting is done along with the history of collection. The decision to pursue this is interesting but not so popular a subject. As career in museology is now in competition with history, art history and archaeology. This proves the progress of Museology over the years.

Skills needed:

An inherent appreciation for the arts and culture is essential to carve a rewarding career in museum studies. Archivists and conservation require a keen eye for detail and an inquisitive mindset to deliver the best job results. Those in art, art history and education and other similar subjects are very likely to find the museum field rewarding. Also, with research being an important aspect of museology librarians, historians and archivists looking for new career will also find the field challenging.

At the bachelor’s level, students need a broad degree program such as a bachelor’s in fine arts, preferably in Museology. On graduation one can then opt for master’s degree (MA Museology / MS Museology) and follow up with a doctoral degree (PhD Museology) students could also opt fro a postgraduate diploma in Museology or an advanced diploma in Museology. Those interested in being museum curators can earn a master’s degree with focus on administration and management. Those planning to be museum directors may also want to add courses in finance and in management to their curriculum.

Museology is an application based subject. Students can start their own enterprises while studying. However, not many students do as it involves a lot of hard work, risk and investment.

Opportunities galore:

With diverse areas to work in Museology, provides a host of opportunities. From working as an artifacts officer to working with the museum library there is never a period of stagnancy. Most museums and institutes offer internships for students of Museology. Interns may work in various aspects of museums like preservation archives, accounting, public relations, exhibitions design and many more.

Most universities and institutions have their own museums and laboratories. In India, there are more than 700 museums offering wide employment opportunities starting from central government museums to district level museums and from trust museums to religious museums subject to the specializations of the candidate . The scope for Museology might currently be limited in India but there is huge scope abroad. If you want to be a curator or a guide lecturer this subject helps you a lot.

Fresh graduates can expect around Rs 4,000 – 7,000 a month. Those who reach the managerial level and work at private museums can earn up to Rs 40,000 – 70,000 a month depending upon their experience and skills.

Where you can study museology:

1) National Museum Institute, New Delhi
2) University of Calcutta
3) Baroda University
4) Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata
5) University of Washington

Excerpts from The Times of India