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Frequently Asked Questions

*ICOM About Us Page

What is the difference between ICOM and ICOM-US membership?

The International Council of Museums, ICOM, is an international organization of museums and museum professionals which is committed to the research, conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world’s natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible. The Member Space of the ICOM Website is an great information hub for anything related to the daily life of our organization. In Member Space, you will find ICOM conferences and discounts on partners events, publications, tools and professional standards, ICOM learning, job listings and more. All active individual and institutional representatives members will receive access to the Member Space. 

ICOM-US, based in Washington, DC, is the National Committee of ICOM for the United States. The Member Portal for ICOM-US registers your data such as main mailing address, for the annual payment of the membership, the sending of the ICOM materials and for inviting to US activities. It is SEPARATE from the Member Space log in. All active individual and institutional representatives members will receive access to the ICOM Member Portal. 

You can find a complete list of all National Committees here.

How to join ICOM-US?

Membership is annual and runs from January 1 to December 31 of every year in which dues are paid. New memberships received after September 30 will become effective as of January 1 of the following year unless otherwise indicated.

Join by completing the application form on our Join Us page HERE. Your application will be sent for approval and can take about 4-6 weeks to be finalized. Once you are approved, you will receive an update from the ICOM Secretariat that your application has been accepted and a link to provide membership payment, if not already submitted. Once you have submitted payment, your membership materials will be mailed to you by USPS from the ICOM-US office in Washington, DC. 

Approval process for joining ICOM-US as a new member

The approval process can up to 4-6 weeks to be finalized. Your applications are approved by ICOM-US and then sent to the ICOM Secretariat for final approval. ICOM HQ, located in Paris, will manufacture the ICOM cards and send them to the ICOM-US office in DC for distribution. ICOM-US will then send new members all their membership materials, including the membership letter, ICOM card, and annual ICOM sticker to validate the card.

How to renew?

Membership is annual and runs from January 1 to December 31 of every year in which dues are paid. Each fall, ICOM-US closes membership for the current year and opens membership for the following year. During the time membership is closed, payments cannot be made. When membership reopens in the fall, current members can renew their membership by one of the options below and will received the upcoming year's membership sticker in the mail to be placed on the ICOM-US membership card. 

1. Online

Pay the invoice directly in your renewal email from ICOM-US with a credit card OR you can sign in to your profile here and click "renew" in the gray header. 

2. By Check

Please make checks out to ICOM-US Membership and send to the mailing address below. 

ICOM National Committee for the United States
4301 50th Street NW
Suite 300 PMB 1042
Washington, DC 20016

3. By Phone

To renew over the phone, please provide your first and last name to Morgan Denault, Membership Coordinator at (202) 953-4599. 

*Once you have submitted payment, your annual membership sticker will be mailed to you by USPS ASAP.

If you are having issues renewing online, please contact Membership at [email protected] 

The Key Contact for the Institution can submit payment through their profile on behalf of the organization. 

Individual membership vs. Institutional membership (benefits of international committees, membership number and ICOM cards)

Joining as individual member, you can join up to 4 international committees (only voting member on one committee and join up to three additional committees- four total) and receive your own individual membership number specific only to you and your own ICOM card (with your name and membership number). As an individual member, you can renew on your own and create your own network within ICOM. 

With an institutional membership, an institution can assign 3 representatives to join and be involved in international committees and also use the institutional membership number to attend conferences, workshops, free entry, etc. Institutions receive a certain amount of ICOM cards depending on their membership level (min: 3 to max: 8 cards). These cards can be distributed however the institution would like. The cards have the institutional name and institutional number on the card. Some institutions assign a specific person to each card to hold, others have one admin hold onto the cards and let all staff use them on an as needed basis. Out of the 3 representatives, is one Key Contact, who can pay dues on behalf of the institution, edit and update the institution's profile, edit and update the other representatives, register other linked users from their institution for events. 

If an institution does not renew their membership, then those (3) representatives for that institution will not be active in ICOM, such as a leadership position with an International Committee, until the institution has renewed. 

To change a representative on the membership profile, please contact [email protected]

Where is the ICOM card accepted?

As museum professionals respecting the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums, ICOM members can, upon presentation of their membership card, access the collections of many institutions around the world for discounted or free entry. This access is provided in institutional member museums but also in a number of other museums on a voluntary basis.Here is a list of all active ICOM-US Institutional Members, where your ICOM card will be accepted in the United States. 

The acceptance of the card is at the discretion of individual venues, museums, and institutions. We highly suggest you please contact the venue ahead of your visit to check if the ICOM card is accepted and/or if there is a booking procedure. This is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic and as museums in the US and around the world begin to reopen. Capacity will be limited for museum and exhibition entry for a period of time.

This is a difficult time for museums so we ask for your patience and understanding if museums need to make temporary changes, or temporarily suspend, acceptance of the ICOM card. Museums are not taking such decisions lightly. We are keeping in touch with all of our members - in the US and abroad - in regards to museums who offer free/discounted entry and sector professionals who use the card.

Please contact us at [email protected] if you become aware of any updates to acceptance to museums. 

How to get involved

The best way to get involved is through an international committee

Can I join more than one international committee?
Yes, individuals can only be a voting member (board member or leadership) of one international committee, and can participate on up to three additional international committees.

How to join the International Committees?

➔ When you complete your application or renewal form at

➔ Through the ICOM website here:
Use the “join an International Committee” section.

You can join or update your IC and email in the memberspace.

* Please note that the username and password for memberspace may not be the same for the ICOM-US website
* Please also note that your username is generally your email, and in case you have forgotten your password, you can fill in your username and click on the “forgot my password” button.
* Please contact [email protected] with any memberspace questions.

Click here for a more detailed step-by-step process to join an IC. 

Updates or Changes to Membership

How to receive replacement card?
Please request a replacement card by completing this form. The ICOM card will be manufactured in Paris and then sent to the ICOM-US Washington, DC office for distribution.

How to update contact information or new affiliation?
Please login to your profile here and update your information, please make sure to save your changes. Notifications of the changes will be sent to ICOM-US and the ICOM Secretariat. 

For more information, please email your question to [email protected].

Last Updated on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 04:21 PM