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Public Trust in Museums

Recent research by the UK Museums Association has spread new light on public perceptions of and attitudes to museums.  A survey carried out with frequent museum users and those who rarely visit revealed a high level of trust and positivity towards museums and a widespread perception that they have a broader role to play in society above appealing to individual visitors.

Click here to download the report

The research uncovered the following beliefs about museums which will undoubtedly encourage debate in the UK and here:

Essential purposes

  • Care and preservation of heritage
  • Holding collections and mounting displays
  • Creating knowledge for and about society

Priority purposes

  • Promoting economic growth through tourism, investment and regeneration
  • Facilitating individual development through education, stimulation and building skills
  • Promoting happiness and wellbeing

Low priority purposes

  • Fostering a sense of community
  • Helping the vulnerable
  • Protecting the natural environment

Purposes challenged by the public

  • Proving a forum for debate
  • Promoting social justice and human rights

[Information from report by Geraldine Kendall on the Museums Association website]