Step 1: Learn About Museums

Step 2: Identify Purposes, Needs and Resources

Step 3: Establish Your Museum

Step 4: Sustain Your Museum


Join the Alliance

Membership is the foundation for excellence and unites the field.


Museum Facts

Museums serve their communities in a variety of ways. Learn about the value of museums.

Step 1: Learn About Museums

Before starting a new museum, take time to learn about museums and the museum community. As the national organization representing museums of all kinds, the Alliance shares data about museums, as well as ethical guidelines, standards and best practices that help museums operate.

Museum Facts

Museums serve their communities in a variety of ways. Learn about the value of museums.

Code of Ethics for Museums

This code provides a framework for ethical museum practices and reflects current, generally-understood museum standards. 

Characteristics of Excellence for U.S. Museums

These are the core field-wide standards that all museums should strive for and can achieve.

National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. Museums

This book is an essential reference work for every museum. A free PDF copy is available to all Alliance museum members.

Field-Wide Standards

There are also numerous discipline-specific, regional and state museum associations that issue standards and resources to help your institution professionalize.

Museum Research

The Alliance conducts research to inform the public and our field about museums. These efforts include salary surveys and our Annual Condition of Museums and the Economy reports.