1610s, "the university building in Alexandria," from Latin museum "library, study," from Greek mouseion "place of study, library or museum, school of art or poetry," originally "a temple or shrine of the Muses," from Mousa "Muse" (see muse (n.)). The earliest use in reference to English institutions was of libraries for scholarly study (1640s); the sense of "building or part of a building set aside as a repository and display place for objects relating to art, literature, or science" is recorded by 1680s.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to think," with derivatives referring to qualities and states of mind or thought.
It forms all or part of: admonish; Ahura Mazda; ament; amentia; amnesia; amnesty; anamnesis; anamnestic; automatic; automaton; balletomane; comment; compos mentis; dement; demonstrate; Eumenides; idiomatic; maenad; -mancy; mandarin; mania; maniac; manic; mantic; mantis; mantra; memento; mens rea; mental; mention; mentor; mind; Minerva; minnesinger; mnemonic; Mnemosyne; money; monition; monitor; monster; monument; mosaic; Muse; museum; music; muster; premonition; reminiscence; reminiscent; summon.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit manas- "mind, spirit," matih "thought," munih "sage, seer;" Avestan manah- "mind, spirit;" Greek memona "I yearn," mania "madness," mantis "one who divines, prophet, seer;" Latin mens "mind, understanding, reason," memini "I remember," mentio "remembrance;" Lithuanian mintis "thought, idea," Old Church Slavonic mineti "to believe, think," Russian pamjat "memory;" Gothic gamunds, Old English gemynd "memory, remembrance; conscious mind, intellect."
c. 1700, "pertaining to or founded by antiquarian Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1570-1631), especially in reference to the library in the British Museum, named for him. He donated some books to the state and his grandson donated the rest. It was badly damaged in a fire in 1731. The surname represents Old English cotum, plural of cot "cottage."
also deaccession, "remove an entry for an item from the register of a museum, library, etc." (often a euphemism for "to sell"), by 1968, from de- "off, away" + accession, which had been used since 1887 in library publications as a verb meaning "to add to a catalogue." Related: De-accessioned; de-accessioning.
"a guardian; one who has care or superintendence of something," late 14c., curatour "a parish priest," from Latin curator "overseer, manager, guardian," agent noun from curatus, past participle of curare (see cure (v.)). From early 15c. in reference to those put in charge of minors, lunatics, etc.; meaning "officer in charge of a museum, library, etc." is from 1660s. Related: Curatorship.