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Velazquez's famous painting Las Meninas at the Prado Museum in Madrid

Velazquez's famous painting Las Meninas at the Prado Museum in Madrid on Sep. 8, 2003.

Photo by Taller de Imagen (TDI)/Cover/Getty Images)

Museology is a social science, and is also called museum studies. The term refers to the study of the museum, rather than its practice which is called museography.

Museum studies include learning about the theory of museums, the history of the museum, its organization and management, how it functions and its impact on society. Additionally, the museum's exhibitions and collections, its conservation, activities and its architecture is also researched.

University graduate programs offer Museology as an academic course of study.

A museologist is a person who works in the museum.

During the 1980s in France, the New Museology (la nouvelle muséologie)developed. Its main focus was on the interaction between the museum and society, and not on the museum's collection. As a result, new types of museums, such as the museum as cultural center came into being.

Source: ICOM

Pronunciation: myoo-zee-ol-uh-jee
Also Known As: museum studies, museography
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