Historical background

iDevice ikon Historical background
  • Museion: Hall of the muses, sanctuary
  • Earlier meanings: closet, library, study
  • A 1706 British dictionary defines the word museum as follows: a study or library, hall or public place for learned people to benefit from it.
  • The term was first used in Hungary in the 18th century, on bills of carpenters working at professors from Nagyenyed.

iDevice ikon Antecedents and the first European museums
  • 1581. Francesco Medici (1541-1587) opened his family's collection to public.

(Agnolo Bronzino, 1551, Uffizi Galery , Florence)

  • 1683.
  • Ashmolean Museum, England

Elias Ashmole (1617-1692) donated his collection to Oxford University




  • July 7th 1753: The British Parliament accepts the proposal about the foundation of the British Museum. (Sir Hans Sloane, Arthur Onslow)
  • January 15th 1759: The Museum opens to the public
  • August 10th 1793 (23rd Thermidor I): Following the ressolution of the National Convention Muséum Central des Arts is opened in the palaise du Louvre.



  • In 1802 Count Széchenyi Ferenc asked permission from the Habsburg Emperor to give his national collection to the Hungarian nation.
  • By that time his collection incorporated 11 884 documents, 1156 manuscripts, 142 maps and copper engravings 2019 golden medals, antiquities and portraits.


  • Stockholm, 1891
The first open-air ethnographic
museum in the world was
opened. It got its name
-Skansen - from a district of the city.

  • November 27th 1904
The first permanent exhibition
was opened in Pécs, Hungary.