A private museum is a collection, usually on a very limited topic and operated by individual enthusiasts, collectors, clubs or companies.[1]

A private museum in Mir, Belarus.



Unlike a public or governmental museum, a scientific monitoring and systematic documentation is not always guaranteed. Therefore, a private museum has relevance for historical research only if it complements the national collections. Under certain circumstances, a private museum also receives funding from the state, so that a comparison with public museums is possible.[citation needed]

Many, especially smaller, private museums do not meet the requirements of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The main reason is that qualified personnel are not sufficiently available or can hardly be financed and therefore often only very limited opening times may be offered.[2]

Often private museums focus on entertainment and have a tourism focus. Their collections are on display for the public to enjoy.


  1. ^ Laster, Paul (July 25, 2011). "The 10 Best Private Museums Worldwide". Visual Arts. Flavorwire. Retrieved November 1, 2011. {{cite web}}: External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ "ICOM: The Conservator-Restorer: a Definition of the Profession". International Council of Museums.