WHO WE ARE
The International Council of Museums (ICOM), created in 1946, is a worldwide organisation of museums and museum professionals. ICOM is committed to promoting and protecting natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible. With more than 35,000 members in 135 countries, the ICOM network is made up of museum professionals from a wide range of museum and heritage related disciplines.
ICOM promotes standards of excellence in the museum field, in particular through its ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums, a standard-setting tool for museums, which includes basic principles for museum governance, the acquisition and disposal of collections, and rules for professional conduct. ICOM’s other activities include fighting illicit traffic in cultural goods and promoting risk management and emergency preparedness to protect world cultural heritage in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
In order to carry out these activities, ICOM partners with entities such as ICCROM, INTERPOL, the World Customs Organisation, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and maintains a long-standing collaboration with UNESCO. The UNESCO-ICOM Museum Information Centre, created in 1946, gathers the most comprehensive collection of ICOM publications including ICOM News, Museum International, ICOM Red Lists, publications by International Committees and conference proceedings.
ICOM’s commitment to culture and knowledge sharing is reinforced by its 30 International Committees, which are dedicated to a wide range of museum specialities and conduct advanced research in their respective fields for the benefit of the museum community. The organisation’s International and National Committees, Regional Alliances and Affiliated Organisations hold conferences and symposiums worldwide that focus on pre-defined themes with a view to fostering exchange among museum professionals of all nationalities. In addition, ICOM organises International Museum Day each year, a worldwide event held on and around 18 May, to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society.
The International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities (CAMOC) is one of a number of international organisations concerned with cities and urban living.
We are a forum for people who work in or are interested in museums about the past, present and future of cities. We are also a forum for urban planners, historians, economists, architects or geographers, all of whom can share knowledge and experience with us, exchange ideas and explore partnerships across national boundaries. With more than 300 members from 53 countries we carry out projects, run workshops, we publish and we hold meetings with a specific theme in a different city each year.
The Committee reflects the growing focus worldwide on cities: their economic importance, their spectacular growth, and the problems and possibilities they present. The matters for debate on the city are almost endless: pollution, regeneration, the private car, public transport, the flight to the suburbs, the destruction of heritage, insensitive development. The Committee aims to be at the centre of this debate, not least through supporting and encouraging museums of cities in their work of collecting, preserving and presenting original material on the city’s past, present and future, work which can reinforce the city’s identity and contribute to its development.
The Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) is an international NGO based in Edmonton, Canada. Established in 1974 as an accredited Commonwealth Organisation, CAM is also an Affiliated Organisation of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). CAM’s focus is on post-colonial museology and particularly on how museums can use their resources – their collections, exhibitions, programmes, and expertise – to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
CAM organises triennial international conferences, semi-annual regional workshops on local priorities, leads or participates in special projects, offers a distance learning programme Certificate in Basic Museum Studies and an international internship programme for young Canadian graduates to work in Commonwealth museums, and produces occasional publications and a bimonthly newsletter. Working primarily in developing Commonwealth nations and Indigenous communities, CAM supports a vital network of museologists throughout the Commonwealth.
International Committee for Regional Museums (ICR) is one of ICOM's international committees dedicated to regional museums. Regional museums are on all continents, and they work everywhere from the arctic to the tropics. Some have large financial resources, most do not. But all try to explain their own regional history and environment. In doing so they are serving an increasingly important function in this world where so much conspires to make people feel small and rootless. Regional museums go the opposite way, asserting the richness of our variety and the value of the human life and heart.
ICR was created in the 1960s for regional museums that are among the most numerous in the world and has an interest in the role of regional museums in their communities with respect to culture, history, environment, social development and language. The Committee is concerned with the challenges, philosophy, methodology and international co-operation of regional museums in a time of social and political change that has affected the fundamental identity of millions of people.