The Netherlands

Information about the Museums Organisation
Netherlands Museum Association

The Netherlands Museums Association is the national association that represents the entire museum sector and has over 450 members. The association promotes the collective interests of Dutch museums and provides services that contribute to the development of the sector in terms of professionalism and quality.

Furthermore, ensuring a strong network between museum professionals, the association offers a forum for the rapid exchange of knowledge and development of new insights. Last but not least, the association aims to improve the image of museums and encourage greater and more diverse public interest in museums.

Netherlands Museums Association
Postbus 2975
1000 CZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
T: +31 20 551 29 00
F: +31 20 551 29 01


Foundation (Year):


Museums/similar institutions: 450


The base is membership fees, certain projects are funded by subsidies or third party funds.

Have the museums/your institution experienced budget cuts in connection with the financial crisis in the last two years?

Culture in total is cut by 20%. Most cuts are made in het performing arts. Effects for museums not clear yet.

Number of museums in your country:

There are approximately 1250 museums in the Netherlands which call themselves museums. This includes Botanical Gardens and Zoos and very small private collections/museums. According to Statistics Netherlands (2007) the number is 733. They also publish the number of the different kinds of museums so we used these numbers in order to answer the question below.

Total: 773 (in % or total number)

Art and Design: 118


Natural History:54

Special: 54 (ethnic) +190 (technic) +19 (all sorts of collections)= 263

Total number of museums:773

Professionally run museums:no exact numbers, around 300 museums (who have at least 1 member of staff that is paid and not volunteer).

Ownership of Museums:

State, Municipalities (national and local government): 15%

Private (foundations, associations, etc.): 85%


Other museum organisations:
Netherlands Museum Advisors Foundation
President: Agnes Vugts

Huis voor de Kunsten Limburg

Postbus 203

6040 EA Roermond

T: +31 475 399274


 Association for National funded Museums

Postbus 2975

1000 CZ Amsterdam

The Netherlands
T: +31 20 551 29 15

F: +31 20 551 29 01

Museum magazine:
Museum publications:

MuseumVisie is the quarterly published museum magazine of the Netherlands Museums Association.

Museumberichten, a monthly newsletter published by the Netherlands Museums Association.



The Netherlands Museums Association is also founder of the museum card. This card allows people to visit over 400 Dutch museums unlimited free of charge for a fixed yearly fee. There are over 750.000 museum card holders.

National Museum legislation and structure:

There is no museum legislation, the only legal standard used is the registration procedure. The Netherlands Museum Register, comparable to the British Registration Scheme, builds on the ICOM international definition of a museum and the ICOM Code of Ethics. On this basis the Nederlandse Museumvereniging [Netherlands Museums Association] and the Landelijk Contact van Museumconsulenten [Netherlands Museum Advisors Foundation] have drawn up nine basic requirements, together forming a minimum standard for the performance of museums, to which both large and small museums can conform. The management of the Museum Register has been accommodated in the Stichting Het Nederlandse Museumregister [Netherlands Museum Register Foundation], established for this purpose. The museum registration process will be re-evaluated and renewed in 2011. 

The number of registered museums: 401


(Updated: 16 December 2010)