Museums help to maintain cultural continuity by skilfully linking the past with the future. Museum exhibits tell stories or allow us to interact with the items. They let us feel what it is like to sit in an airplane cockpit or steer a ship, what life was like centuries ago or how electricity is created.
Modern museums speak to and offer activities to visitors of all ages. They organise educational programmes, museum classes, virtual tours, film programmes and other events. Local lore museums help to preserve the identity of the country, its towns and villages. Over time museums have become active community and social centres, where people interested in history, or the future, meet up.
Among European countries, Estonia has the most museums per 100,000 inhabitants. Museum statistics provide the following information:
- how many museums there are in Estonia;
- what is the distribution of museums by subject area;
- how many people visit museums each year;
- how many exhibitions and educational programmes are organised;
- how many museum objects, incl. digital objects, there are;
- how many scientific and other publications museums publish;
- how many people work in museums;
- what is the financial situation of museums.
Statistics Estonia also collects data for animals in Tallinn Zoo. Museum statistics are necessary to get an overview of Estonian museums and for the government to be able to make decisions on the preservation and development of culture.