Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)?

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) is the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community. Founded in 1906, AAM’s mission is to champion museums and nurture excellence in partnership with our members and allies. From art museums to science centers, arboretums to zoos, the Alliance represents members of the diverse museum community who all share a dedication to standards of excellence. In addition to developing best practices and advocating for museums, AAM also provides opportunities to museum professionals, volunteers, and museum service providers to support, connect, and share knowledge with each other.

How do I know if the museum I work for has a membership?

You can verify if your organization has an active membership by looking for your museum on our Find a Museum page.

My organization has a membership with the Alliance. What does that mean for me?

If your organization has a membership with AAM, great news! You can fully access all of the benefits included with your organization’s membership simply by linking your profile to your organization’s account. Please create a profile for yourself or log in to your existing profile to update your information. All you need to do is list your museum or company as your employer to connect your profile to the organization’s membership and then log in to start accessing member benefits!

How can I access my museum’s membership?

To access your museum’s member resources, you will first need to create a profile. Be sure to enter your museum in the box titled “Organization Name” under Employer Information when establishing your profile.

Is my membership/my museum’s membership current?

Your Individual membership status and your organization’s membership status can be verified by logging in to view your profile. You’ll see your Individual membership status and expiration date, and below that your organization’s member type, confirming your organization’s membership is active.

Login/Profile/Linking to Your Museum

Where do I log in?

You may log in to access member benefits and resources online as many membership resources are locked behind the member wall.

I forgot my login information – can you send it to me?

For security purposes, we cannot send you your login information via email, however you may request a reminder for your username or a link to reset your password using your email address on record. Your login information will be sent to the email address we have on file. Please note, in order to reset your password, you will need to know your username as well as your email address.

I’m not sure if I already have a profile – can you check?

Yes! Please email the AAM Membership team with your full name, the last few museum jobs you’ve held, and any potential email addresses you used for the profile and we can provide you with access to your profile if we find one that matches your information.

How can I create my login account or profile?

You may create a profile online. This account can be used to access both your individual membership and your organization’s membership. In order to access an organization’s membership, you will need to have your own profile linked to the organization’s account. Your account will be yours for your entire career (and after!). You can update your profile and link it/unlink it to new museums as you grow through your career.

How do I link my profile to my organization’s account?

To link your accounts, go to edit your profile and make sure the box titled “Organization Name” under Employer Information matches the name of your museum/organization. When creating a login for the first time, you will need to list the name of your employer in the “Organization Name” box. If you don’t see your organization listed as an option, it does not have a record in our database and you can leave the field blank.

How can I make changes to my profile or my museum’s profile?

You can log in at any time to view or edit your profile. You can use this page to make any mailing or email address changes, title updates, or new job updates on your account for yourself. The only way to update an organization’s record is to email the changes to We would be happy to assist you with any name, address, or other changes.

Joining AAM

Why should I join the Alliance? What type of membership is right for me?

AAM membership offers a wealth of benefits to museums, museum professionals, industry partners, and our allies in the community. In addition to developing industry best practices and advocating for museums, AAM also provides opportunities to museum staff and volunteers to support, connect, and share knowledge with each other. To determine which type of membership is best for you, please visit our About Membership page.

What is the difference between a Museum Membership and an Individual Membership?

Museum memberships provide staff members of a museum with professional resources, such as access to the Member-Only Resource Library. Individual memberships provide an individual museum professional with many of the same resources as museum membership, in addition to a digital and/or printed copy of Museum magazine plus peer-to-peer networking with thousands of museum professionals. You may explore both membership types here.

My museum would like to join the Alliance. However, when I try to purchase a museum membership online, I get an error message.

We are thrilled that you’d like to join the Alliance as a new museum member! However, we will need to create a record for your museum in our database first. If you can’t find your museum when you try to join online (you receive an error message), please fill out the Museum membership form and email the AAM Membership team or mail it back to us. We will contact you once a record has been created.

I’d like to give a gift membership. How can I do that?

Our memberships are perfect for any person who works in museums, libraries, archives, or public history. Give the gift of AAM membership and connect your recipient with networking opportunities, a wealth of information in our Resource Library, discounts on publications and events, as well as our award-winning bi-monthly Museum magazine.

To purchase the gift of membership, please fill out our Individual membership form and submit it to Memberships may take up to a week for AAM staff to process. Upon processing, recipients will immediately receive a welcome email detailing their newly available resources and how to access them. New memberships are active from the day we process your gift, so they make a great last-minute gift! If a recipient has an existing membership, your gift membership will begin when their current membership term ends. As part of processing, AAM staff will check to see if your recipient has a membership.

When is my membership active? Do I need to wait for my membership card to begin enjoying my benefits?

Your membership is active as soon as you complete your membership purchase, with the exception of a Student Membership. All of your resources and benefits are fully accessible on our website and can be used the same day you join or renew. Please allow one week from the date of purchase for Student Memberships to be activated as staff will manually check for proof of enrollment before benefits are activated.

What is the All Staff Package?

The All Staff Package is a cost-effective way for Tier 3 museums to offer an Individual Professional membership to every member of their staff at a group rate. Each staff member included in an All Staff Package gains access to our professional development resources in addition to receiving their own print subscription to Museum magazine and a personal AAM membership card.

How much does it cost to become an Individual Member?

Individual memberships are currently available to Professionals, Students, and Retired Museum Professionals. Membership dues for Professionals are $90 annually; discounts are available to professionals who work for our Tier 2 ($72) and Tier 3 ($45) museum members. Student and Retired Museum Professional memberships are $50 annually.

How much does it cost to become a Museum member?

Museum Membership dues are based on the selected tier of membership. Tier 3 and Tier 2 dues are based on the museum’s staff size. Tier 1 dues are based on a pay what you can model.

Museum Admission

Does AAM membership include free or discounted admission to museums? Are you a museum pass program? What museums can I get into?

No, admissions to museums is not a member benefit. The Alliance is an association for museums and museum professionals. Since 1906, we have been championing museums through advocacy and providing museum professionals with the resources, knowledge, inspiration, and connections they need to move the field forward.

Although some museums may extend a professional courtesy to our members, we are not a reciprocal program, and free or discounted museum admission is not one of our member benefits. Every museum maintains its own pricing policies and we have no agreement with any museum regarding admission. If you are interested in free or discounted museum admission for museums that you frequently visit, we recommend that you purchase a membership directly from those museums.

Physical Membership Cards

I never received my membership card in the mail… or my card was lost or stolen. Can you send me a new one?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related financial impacts, we are no longer re-issuing physical membership cards. However, we have introduced a new digital version of your membership card that you may install on your smart phone. If you are an individual member, you should have received an email from us with instructions for how to do so. Please email the AAM Membership team if you did not receive the link to download your digital membership card.

What if I don’t have a smartphone?

Although we will discontinue issuing physical membership cards as standard practice in the near future, you will still be able to access your full suite of member benefits on our website. Plus, you may log in to view your current membership status and member information on your member profile at any time.

Digital Membership Cards

Why is AAM issuing digital membership cards?

Digital membership cards are a convenient, eco-friendly alternative to physical membership cards. Transitioning to digital cards allows us to deliver your membership card faster to you, and it saves the Alliance both time and money. Additionally, the environmental impacts of physical card creation and distribution for a member association as large as ours are very substantial. By delivering digital cards via e-mail instead of printing and shipping plastic cards, we estimate that we’ll reduce our carbon footprint by over 1,000 pounds of CO2 per year!

Simply put, digital membership cards are greener, less expensive, and easier to distribute. Plus, going digital means that you never have to worry about losing your membership card!

Does a digital membership card serve the same purpose as a physical one?

Yes – your digital membership card includes all of the same information that would be printed on a physical card. Your digital card is unique to you and displays your name, membership level, and expiration date – just like a physical card would do.

What if I don’t have a smartphone?

Although we will discontinue issuing physical membership cards as standard practice in the near future, you will still be able to access your full suite of member benefits on our website. Plus, you may log in to view your current membership status and member information on your member profile at any time.

I am not sure that I received my digital membership card via email. How can I access my digital membership card?

Please navigate to where you can enter the email address you use for your membership. A link will be sent to your email that will provide you with access to your digital membership card (no password required). If you do not receive a link in your email inbox, please contact the AAM Membership team.

My organization is a Museum, Ally or Industry member. Do we receive a membership card as an organization? Do I personally receive a membership card as a staff member of the organization?

No, only Individual members receive access to a membership card. You can log in to view your profile and check your organization’s membership status. Depending on your organization’s membership, you may be eligible for a discount on your Individual Professional membership.

Not a Individual member yet? Join or renew your Individual membership today to gain access to these exclusive benefits

How do I add the new digital membership card to my iPhone?

Access the digital membership card email we sent you from your smartphone and click the “Download” button, then click “Add to Wallet” and “Add.” The card will automatically go to your iPhone’s Apple Wallet. It can be accessed in Wallet at any time.

How do I add the new digital membership card to my Android phone?

Android users need to download Wallet Passes from Google Play. After you have the app, access the digital membership card email we sent you from your smartphone and click “Download” in the membership email, and the card will automatically go to your Wallet Passes app, where it can be accessed at any time.

I installed my digital membership card on my smart phone but I can’t find it.

If you have an iPhone, the card will automatically download to Apple Wallet. Check the app for your new card (scroll through any cards that are already there–it may be hiding!). If you have an Android, you’ll need to download Wallet Passes from the Play Store prior to downloading the card.

I renewed my membership, but the AAM digital membership card app is still showing my old expiration date.

We have transitioned away from using our old digital membership card app so you may now delete it from your phone. Our current digital membership card can be downloaded directly into your Apple Wallet, Wallet pass, or the native wallet app on your smartphone. Please note that after renewing your membership the digital card takes one to two business days to update with the correct expiration date. If you need to download your membership card, please navigate to the digital membership card portal.


I’m a member/I work for a member organization, but I don’t see the member discount when I check out. Why not?

Our system automatically recognizes members in the checkout process, but you’ll need to ensure you’re logged in on the checkout page. If you’re an individual member and you are logged in and don’t see the member rate, you may have a duplicate record. This can be resolved by emailing

If you work for a member organization, log in to view your profile to make sure your account is linked to the museum’s record. Your account should list the name of your employer under “Organization Name” to connect you to any available member benefits. Please see above for instructions on how to link your account to an organization’s account. If you do not have an account, you will need to create a profile in your name for the discount to apply.

Is my file being physically shipped to me?

Unless you specifically purchased a book or physical copy of one of our documents, all files for purchase are PDFs that you can download immediately after purchase. The link to download the file will be emailed to you automatically. If you don’t see the receipt of the purchase or the link, please check your spam folder.

I purchased a file online but I haven’t received the link to access it yet

All digital purchases can be downloaded by logging in to view your profile and selecting the “Downloads” tab.

Renewing your Membership

I want to renew my museum’s membership, but I don’t know the museum’s login information.

Museums don’t have their own organizational login; instead, you can renew your museum’s membership by logging in through your own personal profile. As long as your employer is linked to your profile, you should be able to renew your organizational membership. If you don’t have a login, you can create a profile online. Please see above for instructions on how to ensure your profile is linked to your organization’s account.

How do I renew my individual membership?

You can select the membership you’d like to renew below to add it to your shopping cart. Click the shopping cart in the upper right corner of your screen to check out once you are ready.
You will need your login information to continue with your online renewal. If you need help with your login information, you find out how to reset your information in the login section of the FAQ page.

How can I upgrade or make changes to my museum’s membership tier?

If you’d like to make any changes to your membership, you can simply do so when you renew. Just indicate on the renewal form what membership changes you wish to make. If you’d like to make changes to your membership in the middle of your membership term, please email us at, and we would be happy to discuss your options.

I mailed you my renewal form with payment. Did you get it yet?

You can log in to view your profile, which will display an updated expiration date if we’ve processed and renewed your membership. Please note: due to COVID-19 and delays at the USPS, it may take up to 3 weeks for us to receive and process your renewal form. Additionally, please note that it may take an additional 3-6 weeks from that point to receive your membership card in the mail. In order to ensure you experience no lapse in access to your member resources, we recommend renewing online as soon as you receive a renewal notice.

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
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