Museum Organizations

Museums in the US enjoy several layers of representation. There are national and international organizations that represent all museums, and others that represent specific types of museums.

Most states have museum associations and some cities do as well. For example, one science museum could belong to (pay dues to):

  • the international/national organization, the Association of Science-Technology Centers
  • the national organization for all types of museums: the American Association of Museums
  • a state organization for all types of museums: the Florida Museums Association
  • a regional organization: the Southeastern Museums Conference
  • possibly a city-wide or county-wide organization

That’s way too many meetings to attend and museums select which are most helpful to them.

Most organizations offer forums for professionals to exchange ideas, discuss problems, and share news. Many offer workshops for professional development and list museum job openings. Most have annual conferences. The conferences provide opportunities to learn what is going on and to meet the people who are making things happen.

National Organizations:

Art museums:
Association of Art Museum Curators
Association of Art Museum Directors

History Museums:
American Association for State and Local History
Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums

Children’s Museums:
Association of Children’s Museums

Science and Technology Museums:
Association of Science-Technology Centers

Zoo and Aquarium:
Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Museum Stores:
Museum Store Association

Regional Organizations:

State Organizations:

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