1. Public engagement & public benefit - Museums Association

1. Public engagement & public benefit

Museums and those who work in and with them should:

  • actively engage and work in partnership with existing audiences and reach out to new and diverse audiences
  • treat everyone equally, with honesty and respect provide and generate accurate information for and with the public
  • support freedom of speech and debate
  • use collections for public benefit – for learning, inspiration and enjoyment

Upholding the principle

All those who work in and with museums should:

1.1 Provide public access to, and meaningful engagement with, museums, collections, and information about collections without discrimination.

1.2 Ensure editorial integrity in programming and interpretation. Resist attempts to influence interpretation or content by particular interest groups, including lenders, donors and funders.

1.3 Support free speech and freedom of expression. Respect the right of all to express different views within the museum unless illegal to do so or inconsistent with the purpose of the museum as an inclusive public space.

1.4 Ensure that information and research presented or generated by the museum is accurate. Take steps to minimise or balance bias in research undertaken by the museum.

1.5 Acknowledge publicly that the museum benefits from all those who have contributed to the making, meaning and presence in the museum of its collections.

1.6 Work in partnership with communities, audiences, potential audiences and supporters of the museum.

1.7 Ensure that everyone has the opportunity for meaningful participation in the work of the museum.