How many museums are there in Oklahoma?

According to a combined listing of museums from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, American Alliance of Museums and National Center for Charitable Statistics, Oklahoma is home to over 500 museums.

Where can I find a list of the Oklahoma museums?

The Oklahoma Museums Association website hosts a list of Oklahoma museums which can be sorted alphabetical or by city. OMA institutional member museums have a link to their website. Go to the Oklahoma Museum Directory.

What types of museums are there in Oklahoma?

According to a combined listing of museums from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, American Association of Museums and National Center for Charitable Statistics, Oklahoma is home to over 500 museums.  The approximate breakdown follows:

Museum TypeNumber
Art 52
Childrens 3
History 85
National History & Natural Science 18
Science & Technology 10
Historical Societies 137
Arboreta Botanical Gardens 6
Zoos, Aquariums, and Zoological Societies 4
Unidentified 185
Visiting Museums 101: Museum Etiquette

Not all museum policies are the same, but here are a few basic tips.

Where can I find information on museum best practices and standards?

The Oklahoma Museums Association encourages Oklahoma museums to take the Pledge of Excellence as provided by the American Alliance of Museums. OMA further encourages all Oklahoma museums to adopt best practices and standards for their institution. More information and a variety of resources to assist museums on the continuum of excellence can be found on the Alliance website including ethics, best practices and standards. The American Association for State and Local History offers StEPS, Standards and Excellence in History Organizations. The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits offers the Standards for Excellence. OMA offers a variety of training and publications to assist Oklahoma museums with excellence.

How many American Alliance of Museums accredited museums are there in Oklahoma?

AAM Accreditation is a widely recognized seal of approval that brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement.

As of November 2014, Oklahoma has 12 accredited museums. 

  • Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman
  • Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa
  • Museum of the Great Plains, Lawton
  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City
  • Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, Oklahoma City
  • Oklahoma City Zoological Park & Botanical Garden, Oklahoma City
  • Oklahoma History Center - Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City
  • Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa
  • Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, University of Oklahoma, Norman
  • Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
  • Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, Tulsa
What is the economic impact of Oklahoma museums?

Museums play an important role in the economy.  Museums directly contribute more than $21 billion to the national economy. Economic impact information available here

Where can I find research on needs of Oklahoma museums?

The Mid-America Arts Alliance received a National Leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support a comprehensive training needs assessment of museums in Oklahoma.

Mid-America worked in formal partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Oklahoma Museums Association, and informal partnerships with a number of state museum service organizations to discover the capabilities, needs, and preferences of museums across the state. The research consisted of the distribution of a written survey to museums within the state, interviews with museum service providers, field visits and telephone interviews with museums that captures the unique virtues of its representative museum constituency, and written analysis of collected data.

What programs and services does the Oklahoma Museums Association offer?

OMA is the primary provider of professional training and technical information to staff and volunteers of Oklahoma's 500 museums, historic sites, tribal cultural centers, and historical societies.  List of programs and services

How do I become a member of the Oklahoma Museums Association?

The Oklahoma Museums Association is the professional membership organization for museum staff, volunteers, board members and other Oklahomans who have an interest in museums. OMA invites you to get involved by becoming a member.

Who should join?
Museum professionals at all levels (paid and volunteer) are encouraged to join. This includes executives, directors, managers, development officers, exhibit and program developers, educators, curators, collections managers, registrars, archivists, museum store managers, visitor services managers, board members, volunteers, students interested in museum careers, and others.

Institutions also are encouraged to join. OMA is the primary provider of training and information to Oklahoma's 500 museums, historical societies, historic sites, zoos and botanical gardens, historic houses, living history museums, tribal cultural centers, and other related entities.

Corporate memberships are available to businesses with an interest in museums.

Read more on OMA membership and benefits

Does OMA offer scholarships to its training and programs?

Each year, OMA awards scholarships to workshops, seminars and the  Annual Fall Conference. Scholarships are awarded on a demonstrated need  basis to qualified applicants and cover registration fees only. Travel,  lodging, and per diem are not included in the scholarship award. OMA reserves the right to limit the number of scholarships available for any workshop, seminar or conference. OMA scholarship decisions are final.  Priority will be given to individuals/organizations who have not  received a scholarship from OMA in the past year to attend training. Read more or apply

Where can I find resources for starting a museum?

A variety of resources for starting a museum can be found on the OMA website.  Click here to view the resources


Where can I find resources for an emergency in my museum?

The Oklahoma Museums Association provides this link to information to assist Oklahoma museums in the event of a disaster.


Where can I find someone to appraise an item?

It is against the Code of Ethics of museums to place a value on an artifact or collection.  Also, know that it is unethical for appraisers to base their fees on a  percentage of the appraised value of an artifact or collection. There are three main appraisal organizations: American Society of Appraisers, Appraisers Association of America, and International Society of Appraisers. Members of these organizations generally work as individual  contractors. Fees are based on the scope of the individual project and  should be discussed directly with the appraiser.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued transitional guidance on the new definitions of qualified appraisal and appraisers at http://www.irs.gov/irb/2006-46_IRB/ar13.html.

Where can I find resources for fundraising?

OMA does not offer a grant program but makes available resources for museums to research further.

How do I find out about job openings in museums?

The Oklahoma Museums Association posts announcements for positions in Oklahoma and the region as a priority.  The OMA website also lists where other job announcements can be found.  View job opportunities here.


Where can I go to find out about museum information on a national level?

The American Alliance of Museums is the only national organization representing the entire scope of museums and professionals and nonpaid staff who work for and with museums.  Visit the AAM website for more information.