[ skip to content ]

Etymology and Educational Implication of the Term of ‘Museum(博物館)’ in Europe and East Asia

Suh, Won-Joo (2007) 'Etymology and Educational Implication of the Term of ‘Museum(博物館)’ in Europe and East Asia.' Journal of Museum Education, 1 . pp. 65-84.

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (1271Kb) | Preview
Alternative Location: http://musedu.org/

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the educational implication in the term, ‘museum(博物館)’, in Europe and East Asia. This paper endeavours to trace the etymological history of the terms respectively. In Europe, the ‘museum’ was originated from ‘Mouseion (Μουσειόν)’, the ancient Greek temple where art objects were known to be displayed. In the Roma era, this term was translated into Latin as ‘Museum’. Given that the Roman Museum played a different role from current museums, the term is more an etymological origin rather than the functional origin of the modern institution. However, the Greco-Roman ‘museums’ had an educational role such as teaching and research which is common to the museum of today. During the Renaissance, the term, museum, started to be related to the collection of art works, and, the Ashmolean Museum in the seventeenth century England became the first example of using the term as a modern institutional concept. On the other hand, ‘Bakmoolgwan(博物館, museum)’, the term commonly used in Korea, China and Japan, was originated from Japan in 1860 and introduced in Korea in 1876 by Ki‐Soo Kim in his book, “the Observation Report (修信使日記)”. However, the word ‘Bakmool(博物)’ was originated from the Chinese ancient literatures such as “Chun Qiu Zuo Dian (春秋左傳)”. The word ‘Bakmool(博物)’ is a combination of two words ‘extensive (博)’ and ‘matter (物)’; however, the whole word tends to mainly refer to ‘wide knowledge’ than ‘many objects’ in Chinese and Japanese. In other words, the core concept of the word ‘Bakmool (博物)’ would be ‘knowledge’ rather than ‘objects’. Therefore, given the etymology of the term, museum (博物館) should be understood in relation to knowledge than objects and the role of the museum should be emphasised in regard to ‘research and education’ rather than ‘the collection’.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: museum, 박물관, 博物館, Bakmool, 博物, etymology, education, knowledge, history, Europe, East Asia, Mouseion, Korea, China, Japan, Alexandria, Greece, Rome, museum education,
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics > Languages of the Wider World CETL
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
ISSN: 1976622X
Depositing User: Won-Joo Suh
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2010 11:27
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/8774

Available Versions of this Item

  • Etymology and Educational Implication of the Term of ‘Museum(博物館)’ in Europe and East Asia. (deposited 12 Jul 2010 11:27) [Currently Displayed]

Repository staff only

View Item View Item