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Museum Studies: Professional Organizations

This guide will help you get started with your museum studies and public history research. In addition to recommending useful databases, this guide provides information about museums, collections, and exhibitions, professional organizations, how to keep i

Professional Organizations

American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

Works to champion museums and nurture excellence in partnership with our members and allies.

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

A national association that provides leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all people.

Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM)

Consortium of groups involved in the collection, preservation or interpretation of material culture, traditional skills and historical processes.

Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD)

Mission is to advances the profession by cultivating leadership capabilities of directors, advocating for the field, and fostering excellence in art museums.

Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)   

Mission is to increase understanding of—and engagement with—science and technology among all people.                                                                               

The International Council of Museums (ICOM)

An international organization of museums and museum professionals which is committed to the research, conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world’s natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible.

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

A non-governmental international organization dedicated to the conservation of the world's monuments and sites.

Museum Computer Network (MCN)

An organization whose mission is to to grow the digital capacity of museum professionals by connecting them to ideas, information, opportunities, proven practices, and each other.

National Assembly of State Art Agencies (NASAA)

State arts agencies ensure that every community in America receives the cultural, civic, economic and educational benefits of the arts

National Council on Public History (NCPH) 

Inspires public engagement with the past and serves the needs of practitioners in putting history to work in the world by building community among historians, expanding professional skills and tools, fostering critical reflection on historical practice, and publicly advocating for history and historians.                                          

National Park Service (NPS)

Since 1916, the National Park Service, as a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior and led by a Director nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 318 million visitors every year.  Related: Museum Management Program  A National Park Service site providing resources for museum management and links to online NPS exhibits.

Society of American Archivists (SAA)

Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America's oldest and largest national professional association dedicated to the needs and interests of archives and archivists.

Associations and Funding Agencies

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)        

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

UNESCO World Heritage

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