Museum-History and Museums of History

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Goode traces the history of museums, from the original Greek meaning of the word as homes of the muses to the museums of Alexandria and Rome. He describes the collectors of the Renaissance, leading to the Ashmolean Museum founded at Oxford, England, in 1667. He then focuses on American museums, from colonial collections to the first museum created by Charles Willson Peale. He notes the importance of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 and describes the United States National Museum at the Smithsonian. He argues for the importance of museums and details the role that a museum of history can play in each nation.


  • Peale, Charles Willson
  • United States National Museum
  • Ashmolean Museum
  • Centennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Read before the American Historical Association in Washington, D.C., on December 26-28, 1888. Goode was Assistant Secretary in charge of the United States National Museum at the Smithsonian Institution.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • History museums
  • Museums
  • History
  • National Collections
  • Museum techniques
  • Museums--History


United States


Reprinted from The Papers of the American Historical Association

Physical description

pp. 253-275

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