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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Museums Count


Museums Count is an open-source, web-based census collection for U.S. museums that will deploy in Spring/Summer 2012. The Institute for Museum and Library Services developed this collection as an ongoing census and reporting Tool for US museums. Having identified a target list of 37,000 institutions,

the first wave of data collection will go directly to institutional contacts.


After 6 months data collection will broaden to allow any person with  

knowledge about the institution and access to the web to crowd source

select data elements.  While regular museum data collection is currently conducted by several

museum service organizations, these collections tend to be limited in scope (focusing on sub-sections of the greater museum field or narrow in focus (such as AAM’s Museum Financial Information collection).  At this time there is no sustained, consistent, comprehensive and reliable data source

for all museum types in the United States.


Museums Count was designed with the idea that information gathered in the census should be available and useful to museums and museum researchers as well as the broader public.  The site will allow museums to update their information at six month intervals and to develop museum sector reports

For museums of different types and sizes at the national, state, county and or metropolitan levels.  Reports below the national level will be available only after a critical number of respondents have reported at the corresponding level of analysis.


The Museums And the Web demonstration will provide an early public viewing of the Museums Count reporting functions of Museums Count site.  Though we do not anticipate having the Museums Count database fully populated by May (data collection begins in February) the summary reports will be available for viewing and MW2012 attendees will have an opportunity to view and critique the reporting tools and search functionality.


The following tools will be available for Museums and the Web:

  • State-Level Reports
  • Summary graphs of museums by size, type and location. GIS maps displaying address-level museum records against county-level chloropleth maps displaying a variety of social and economic indicators. Museum-level Reports/Tools
  • Map your location vis-à-vis other cultural resources (schools, heritage sites, Google POIs)
  • Map you institutional data (visitors, members, donors, etc.) vis-à-vis your museum location
  • Search and compare tool for museums


Tools for Public

  • Mobile apps for the public to find museums
  • Mobile apps for verifying/uploading crowd sourced data to Museum Count.



Demonstration - show your project


falinares's picture
Franciel Azpurua Linares is an information engineer, digital data manager and economist with over a decade of experience working with digital collections. She is interested in digital data curation and how it applied to different fields, including museums. Her digital data management in the natural...