The Museums Association (MA) is a professional membership organisation based in London for museum, gallery and heritage professionals, museums, galleries and heritage organisations, and companies that work in the museum, gallery and heritage sector of the United Kingdom. It also offers international membership.
The association is the oldest museum association in the world and was started in 1889 by a small group of museums to protect the interests of museums and galleries. The inaugural meeting was held at the invitation of the Council of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society in York on 20 June 1889.
The Museums Association's mission is to enhance the value of museums to society by sharing knowledge, developing skills, inspiring innovation, and providing leadership. The MA advocates for museums, sets ethical standards and runs training and professional development for members wishing to further their careers. Its annual conference is Europe's largest event for museum and heritage professionals.
The MA has over 6,500 individual members, 550 institutional members, and 250 corporate members. It is independently funded by its membership.
In 2013 the MA produced Museums Change Lives, its campaigning vision for the future of museums. Museums Change Lives explores the impact of museums under three main headings: wellbeing, better places, ideas and people.
In 2012 the MA began its Museums 2020 project to create a bold vision for the future of the museum sector. Bringing together opinion and practice from around the sector, the MA wants to focus on the impacts that museums will have in the future on individuals, communities, society, and the environment.
The MA is charting the impact of budget cuts to UK museums through its annual cuts survey.
The Museums Association is governed by a board of trustees, from all parts of the UK museum community, elected by MA members. The current president of the organisation is David Anderson. Previous presidents include David Fleming, Stuart Davies, Charles Saumarez Smith, Jane Glaister, Barbara Woroncow and Virginia Tandy.
The MA also runs a professional development scheme, with mentoring and regular training events. "AMA" denotes an Associate of the Museums Association. "FMA" denotes a Fellow of the Museums Association.
- MDA (formerly the Museum Documentation Association)
- British Association of Friends of Museums
- Irish Museums Association
- Museums Association
- Geoffrey Lewis, For Instruction and Recreation: A Centenary History of the Museums Association. London: Quiller Press, 1989. ISBN 1-870948-37-8.
- About the Museums Association
- Museums Change Lives
- Museums 2020
- Cuts survey
- Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund
- Collections for the Future
- MA board of trustees
- Museums Association Conference and Exhibition
- Museums Journal
- Museum Practice The latest case studies and best practice by museum professionals around the UK, with an interactive platform for users to share their ideas.
- Associateship of the Museums Association
- Fellowship of the Museums Association