STUDY OF TAXONOMIC MUSEUMS:
· The word museum comes from the Greek word “mouseion”. In ancient greek mouseion was the temple of muses, the goddess of arts and sciences.
· Museum is an institution where artistic and educational materials are exhibited to the public, the material available in exhibition for study is called collections. A collection may include scientific specimen,, works of art and exhibits and information on history and technology.
· Natural history museums discover and document biodiversity, living organism, their habitats and their genes and community that provides information to the public, government and industry. This role involves collecting, identifying, describing known and previously unknown species and their evolutionary relationships to each other and maintaining references collection for future research.
· There are five main kind of museums namely art museums, history museums, applied science museums, natural science museums and general museums.
· Most natural history museums in Australian are concerned only with animals (fauna) whereas some overseas museums also deal with plants (flora). In Australia, the plant equivalent of natural history museums are the herbaria attached to major botanical gardens.
· Museum studies are an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field which embraces in its subject matter and methodologies aspects of most other academic disciplines. These different approaches coalesce around an interest in museums, galleries, heritage, collections, material culture and representation.
· A museum is an institution that conserves, a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary, there are many types of museums, they help in providing valuable information about an organism or a plant with their valuable information required.
· Many museums and academic institutions maintain first rate collections of biological materials, ranging from preserved whole organisms to DNA libraries and cell lives. These biological collections make innumerable contributions to science and society in areas as divergent as homeland security, public health and safety, monitoring of environmental change and traditional taxonomy and systematic.
· However, these collections save governments and taxpayers many millions of dollars each year by effectively guiding government spending presenting catastrophic events in public health and safety, eliminating redundancy and securing natural and agricultural resources. However, these contributions are widely underappreciated by the public and by policymakers resulting in insufficient financial support for maintenance and improvement of biological collections.
Functions of Museum:
1. Acquisition of materials: Every new object that a museum adds to its collection is called acquisition. Museum acquire object in several ways of which field collection is one of the most useful. The scientific and technician go outside to gather specimens and data on particular subject which is with the scope of museum.
2. Recording of Materials: Each acquisition is listed carefully by specialist staff. As soon as objects are received, the data, the source, the method of acquisition and other available information are entered into record register.
3. Preservation of materials: The primary purpose of museum is to preserve selected objects. Curators know that no specimens will last forever. What museums undertake to do is to prolong the lifetime of the objects. Preservation in a museum consists of two stages:
· Specimens must be put into a condition that checks deterioration.
· Specimens must be protected.
4. Researches: One important use of museum is to extract as much knowledge as possible from specimens. Many museums published scholarly journals, series of papers and books to make available result of research on collections.
5. Exhibition of Materials: Various members of museum staff prepare acquisition for exhibitions. The specimens selected for exhibition are put on a view in numerous ways. The choice of approach and technique depends on the purpose of exhibition.
6. Education: A number of universities conduct some courses in certain subjects as museum universities which have advantages of collection. Thus museum helps in spreading education.
Living organisms are classified to arrange them in systematic format. Classification is needed because it allows scientists to identify group and properly name organism.
Herbarium is a place where dried and pressed plants, specimens, mounted on sheets are kept systematically. It was established by Luca Ghini.
Zoological parks are places where wild animals are kept in protected environment under human core and which enable us to learn about their food habits and behavior.
Botanical gardens are institutions holding documented collections of living plants for the purpose of scientific research, conservation, display and education.
Species is the lowest category of hierarchy. Taxonomic hierarchy is the arrangement of various categories in successive levels of the biological classification.