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Evaluating museums

by Cliff Quinn last modified Aug 01, 2012 01:54 AM

Issues around evaluating museum performance

All strategic plans involve an evaluation component. Do we in museums take the time to not only perform our strategic evaluations, but evaluate our day-to-day performance? How do our audiences view us? How do our funders think we are doing? How do we think we are doing?

These questions raise other questions, such as "What standard do we measure ourselves against?", and "what are we contributing to our communities"? (see Museums and Communities).

Resource Documents for Measuring Museums

At the 2002 BCMA conference, Cliff Quinn and Anne Hayward presented Measuring Museums, discussing how we evaluate what we do. The following documents were referred to or used as sources in the presentations.


AAM Accreditation Program and their standards

Standards Portfolio for the BCMA (Quinn, 2002) (Word doc)

Standards for BC Museums (Spalding, 1993) (Word doc)

Standards Introduction (Powerpoint)


Mapping Community Assets (PDF), Diane Dorfman, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory Rural Education Program

Measuring Museums Research Proposal (Word doc)

American Association of Museums Museum Assessment Program and the MAP process

AAM Public Dimension Assessment, Powerpoint Presentation given at the 2002 BCMA conference by Laura Ryan, Assistant Director, Museum Advancement & Excellence, Accreditation, AAM

Other links of interest

Measuring Museums Bibliography from BCMA Conference 2002 presentation

A bibliography of evaluation studies was produced around 2000 by Needham et al., and was available through CHIN and the CWM, but it appears to have disappeared from the web. Here's the information:

WAIDACHER (F.), SAS (J.) & NEEDHAM (H.), 2000: Selected publications on visitor studies, evaluation, market research and performance measurement. In: NEEDHAM (H.), 2000: Visitor studies handbook. Kanata, Harry Needham Consulting Services, 126 pp.

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