The Museums Map – Mapping Access to England’s Museums

Museums hold our collective memory for current and future generations. They are institutions at the heart of our local communities, and central to culture, education and tourism.

Given museums’ importance, and in the context of the current review of museums in England that is underway, Nesta have systematically studied access to them in England using an interactive map that has just been launched. The map allows museum access to be examined from the perspective of:

  • national access to museums overall (the distance layer)
  • the size of populations surrounding museums (the museums layer)
  • the number of museums across local authorities and regions, relative to the number of people living in these areas (the area layer).

The museums analysed are those in England that are members of Arts Council England’s accredited museum scheme. This scheme covers museums that apply to the scheme and are certified as meeting certain standards. This will not capture museums that are not members of the scheme, it does though include all of the largest public collections in England and a significant proportion of all English museums, with just over 1300 accredited institutions in total. Using accredited museums also has the benefit that the institutions have been certified as being a museum according to consistent criteria.

Find out more and launch the interactive map here.

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