checkbox iconMuseums Count


Purpose: The Museums Count survey will provide information about collections, programs, services, visitations, and financial information of museums.

Coverage: The data will be collected from a subset of over 35,000 known museums including aquariums, arboretums, botanical gardens, art museums, children’s museums, general museums, historic houses and sites, history museums, nature centers, natural history and anthropology museums, planetariums, science and technology centers, specialized museums, and zoological parks in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and outlying territories.

Research Design: IMLS will begin consultation with stakeholders on the study design, sampling approach and frequency of collection in the Spring of 2015. The Museums Count survey instrument (PDF link, 345KB), developed in consultation with AAM and White Oak Institute, will be reviewed in light of the new International Standards Organization guidance for museum statistics (ISO/TC46/ SC8/ WG11).  IMLS will seek assistance for survey administration from a cooperator or contractor in FY2015.

Methods: The data will be collected over the Internet via a Web based reporting system.

Use: These collected data will be designed to be used by the useful to the museum sector, policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels, the American Alliance of Museums and its members or customers, museum and public policy researchers, the public, journalists, and others.

If you have questions about this data collection, please email

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