A local museum or local history museum is a type of museum that shows the historical development of a place/region (local history) using exhibits. These museums usually maintain a collection of historic three-dimensional objects which are exhibited in displays. Such museums are often small in nature and generally have a low budget for their running costs. As such, many of the collections are compiled, cataloged, and interpreted by amateur historians as well as professionals. 
These museums can cover a governmental defined unit such as a town, city, county, or parish or they can cover an area defined within the museum's mission. In the United States while some museums may be part of the local government or receive funding from them in some way. However, most local history museums are usually self-funded. These museums can also run as independent organizations or they can managed by an accompanying local historical society which also will maintain an archive of local records in addition to the museum's three-dimensional object collection.
Local history museums are frequently housed in a historically significant or thematically typical building; it is often a former public building such as a school building, a former courthouse, or city/town hall since the structure, which was already owned by the municipality and can continue its use as a in the public realm as a museum. Other times museums are located in repurposed commercial buildings that had significance for the area such as a bank or a railroad depot. Many local museums are also open-air museums in which several historical buildings from the area have been collected in some museum villages and rebuilt in a new location.  
In some cases the character of the local history museum is superimposed with the representation of a famous or well-known person from the area, or focuses on a single branch of the economy that was or is particularly formative for the region.
Local history museums offer the interpretation of the everyday lives of ordinary people and the unique histories that locale may offer. These museums also offer a more in-depth look into the details of how national and international events affected the locale represented by the museum.
Regional variations edit
See also edit
- Timo Tohmo, Economic value of a local museum: Factors of willingness-to-pay. Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 33, Issue 2, pages 229–240, April 2004. doi:10.1016/j.socec.2003.12.012
- Alexander, Edward Porter; Alexander, Mary (2008). Museums in motion: an introduction to the history and functions of museums. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7591-0509-6.
- Latham, Kiersten F.; Simmons, John E. (2014). Foundations of Museum Studies: Evolving Systems of Knowledge Illustrated Edition. Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 978-1610692823.