Why do museums collect stuff?
Museums act in the public trust to steward tangible and intangible heritage for future generations. Stewardship includes both collecting and conserving. There are two of the essential functions of museums.
What is a museum?
According to the International Council of Museums, a museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.
Museums are culture keepers for their community.