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Membership is the foundation for excellence and unites the field.

The Bookstore

The most informative and authoritative professional literature on every aspect of museum operations. 

About Museums

  • There are over 850 million visits to American museums per year—more than attendees of all major sporting events and theme parks combined.
  • Museums directly contribute more than $21 billion to the national economy.
  • 400,000 people nationwide  are employed by museums.
  • Museums invest more than $2 billion a year in education.

Museums are wonderfully diverse. They are operated by nonprofits and for-profits, colleges, universities and every level of government. Some are managed by large staffs; others are run solely by volunteers. They include all types:

  • Aquarium
  • Anthropology
  • Arboretum/Botanic Garden
  • Art
  • Children’s
  • Culturally Specific
  • Hall of Fame
  • Historic House
  • Historic Site
  • History

  • Historical Society
  • Military/Battlefield
  • Nature Center
  • Natural History
  • Planetarium
  • Presidential Library
  • Science/Technology
  • Specialized
  • Transportation
  • Visitor Center
  • Zoo

I have an item I want to sell or donate. How do I find an interested museum?

Most museums maintain websites that include information about missions and collections so you can find a museum that is the right fit. Museums must be selective in what they add to their collections. They generally accept an object only if it is free of all conditions and restrictions imposed by the donor or seller. Be aware that museums incur legal, social and ethical obligations in providing proper physical storage, and management and care for the collections and associated documentation.

Can the Alliance provide the address and phone number for a museum?

We do not provide contact information for individual museums. Most museums maintain their own websites that include contact information.

I want to get an object appraised. Where should I take it?

We do not make recommendations for products or contracted service. The Official Museum Directory has an online database of such products and services as appraiser. You can also consult the American Society of Appraisers.

How do I start a new museum?

  • We also offer several books in our bookstore that address starting and sustaining a successful museum.
  • Code of Ethics for Museums provides a framework for developing an institution’s code of ethics and reflects the current standards.