The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is an international
organization of museums and museum professionals which is committed
to the conservation, continuation and communication to society
of the world's natural and cultural heritage, present and future,
tangible and intangible.
Created in 1946, ICOM is a non-governmental organization
maintaining formal relations with UNESCO and having a consultative
status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council.
As a non-profit organization, ICOM is financed primarily
by membership fees and supported by various governmental and
other bodies. It carries out part of UNESCO's programme for
museums. Based in Paris (France), the ICOM Headquarters houses
both the ICOM Secretariat and the UNESCO-ICOM Museum Information
The 19,000 members of ICOM in 150 countries participate in
the national, regional and international activities of the
organization: workshops, publications, training, twinning
programmes, and the promotion of museums through International
Museum Day (May 18, annually).
The membership participates in the activities of 115 National
Committees and 29 International Committees. Some National
Committees have also organized on a regional level to reinforce
their action. ICOM is affiliated with 13 international associations.
The ICOM Triennial Programme of Activities adopted by the
General Assembly is implemented by the ICOM Secretariat as
well as National and International Committees who contribute
to the realization of ICOM's programmes. ICOM's activities
respond to the challenges and needs of the museum profession
and are focused on the following themes:
professional cooperation and exchange
dissemination of knowledge and raising public awareness
training of personnel
advancement of professional standards
elaboration and promotion of professional ethics
preservation of heritage and combating the illicit traffic
in cultural property
If you are a museum professional and wish to become a member
of ICOM, please contact the Membership Service.
A wide variety of documents about additional aspects of ICOM's
organizational history and structure are available in the