Survey of American Museums

Kids looking at an exhibit in a museum

IMLS has moved forward on its Museum Survey as an important register of the museum universe in all its glorious plenitude of cultural activity, its importance to the country’s economy, education, heritage, and well-being.

- IMLS Director Crosby Kemper

Museums have had a longstanding reach and presence in the nation, serving as an educational resource and as pillars of community and culture. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), along with AIR, is working to establish an annual survey of the nation’s museums as part of the Federal Statistical System. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums.

The survey aims to collect key data directly from museums across all sectors to inform policymakers, museums, and the public about the role that museums play in our society and how to best support them.

IMLS and AIR are working to develop a comprehensive survey design based on guidance and feedback from subject matter experts, including museum practitioners and museum association representatives. The project will be launching a pilot survey in summer 2023.

Principal Researcher