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Museum Assessment Program

The Museum Assessment Program (MAP) helps museums assess their strengths and weaknesses and plan for the future.

Administered by the American Alliance of Museums with support from IMLS, MAP helps museums build capacity in operations, collections stewardship, and community engagement. Since its inception in 1981, the program has helped more than 5,000 small and mid-sized museums of all types.

A MAP assessment begins with a process of self-study, involving members of the museum staff and governing authority. A museum professional then conducts a site visit, which includes meetings with staff, governing officials, volunteers, and community representatives. The consultant produces a report that includes recommendations and resources to support the museum’s development.

The three types of MAP assessments include:

  • Organizational Assessment: Reviews all areas of operations.
  • Collections Stewardship Assessment: Focuses on collections policies, planning access, documentation, and collections care.
  • Community Engagement Assessment: Assesses the understanding and relationships that museums have with their communities, as well as the community perception of museums.

Application materials and additional information are located on AAM's website.

A 2017 evaluation of MAP, commissioned by IMLS and AAM, can be found here.