The Association of Maine Archives and Museums relies on dues from members to provide vital benefits to our network of institutions, individuals, and businesses in Maine who contribute to the identification, collection, interpretation and/or access to materials relating to history and culture.
Collecting institutions of all kinds, their trustees and directors, their staff, their volunteers, their members, the interested public, and affiliated businesses are all encouraged to join MAM as members.
Membership terms are annual, starting on the date your application is processed.
To achieve our mission, MAM seeks people with a wide variety of skills and interests to join our volunteer-driven core committees.
Which category of membership is for you?
If you are closely affiliated with a collecting institution in Maine, we strongly suggest that your organization join as an institutional member. Joining as an institution will provide your organization with enhanced benefits that both staff and volunteers can enjoy. Dues are sliding scale based on your institution's annual expense budget.
All-volunteer institutions (no staff).................$35Annual expense budget $15,000 or less..........$35
Annual expense budget $15,001-$50,000.......$50
Businesses that provide services and/or products to museums and archives are encouraged to join as Business Members. Dues are sliding scale based on number of employees.
Consultant (sole proprietorship)....$35
Partnership (two-person firm).......$50
MAM welcomes your individual membership whether you wish to join as an individual in addition to your organization’s membership or if you are unaffiliated with an institution. Dues are sliding scale based on your ability to pay.
Individuals who work for businesses that provide services and/or products to museums and archives are encouraged to join as Business Members (above).
What type of membership should I choose? If you are associated with a collecting institution, we recommend you join as an institutional member so all staff and volunteers at your organization can enjoy member benefits. Same goes if you are associated with a business in this field. Whether or not you are associated with a member business or institution, you are welcome to join as an individual member. Whereas institutional and business member rates are based on organizational size, individual membership is based on your individual ability to financially support the work MAM does.
What does MAM do with my contact information? Institutional members have their organization listed with their public street address, public phone, and public email addresses (as they have indicated on the member profile) under the Find an Archive/Museum searchable database. Business members' contact information is searchable by the public in the Service Provider Directory. Individual members' information is not searchable by the general public but is available to other MAM members in the directory in the members' only section of the website. MAM, per a policy adopted by the Board of Directors, does not sell its membership list.
Which email address should I use? MAM's membership system is tied to your email address. Each member must have a different email address. If you are trying to log in to renew your membership and are not using the same email address that we have on file, the system will count you as a new member rather than a renewal. If you are unsure what email we have on file for your organization or if you are experiencing any problems, please let us know at email@example.com. We suggest that you use a generic email address for your institution's membership (i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org). Or, if your organization is a member and you are also an individual member, you could use your organizational email for your institution's membership and your personal email for your individual membership. If you have any questions about the membership renewal process, please email email@example.com.
I do not have an email address. Can I still join? YES! To join MAM without using an email address, just print, fill out, and return the membership form or call 207.400.6965 and request an application be sent to you by mail. Simply mail the completed form back to MAM with your check.
Can I join online and still pay by check or purchase order? Yes, you can mail your check or institutional purchase order but still fill out all of your information online. When it comes to the time for payment, click the option for paying by check. This alerts MAM to your membership and the payment will be posted to your account upon receipt.
How are electronic payments processed? MAM's online membership system uses a secure service called AffiniPay to process credit and debit cards on our own website.
MAM’s mission statement includes living collections. What are living collections? Living collections refers to organizations that maintain a diversity of living things. Aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and even land trusts that seek to preserve a specific habitat’s biodiversity maintain living collections.
My museum doesn’t have a specific collection, but we have exhibits or a historic structure. Are we a collecting institution? Yes! Museums, including children’s museums, science museums, planetariums, lighthouses, and other organizations that invite the public to learn about a thing, an artwork, a place, a time, or a phenomenon, are included in MAM’s mission because they interpret materials relating to culture or history. Historic structures, like homes, lighthouses, or barns, for example, preserve things of this world, and are considered museums (see the next question).
What is a "museum"? The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) defines museums as institutions that make a “unique contribution to the public by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the things of this world.” This definition includes museums of art, history, science and anthropology; children’s museums; historic sites; halls of fame; aquariums; zoos; botanical gardens and arboreta; nature centers; and planetariums. (This description is drawn from AAM’s Code of Ethics for Museums.)
What do you mean by "interpret," does my historical society do interpretation? If your organization has any type of exhibit, sponsors programs where you or guest experts explain your collection or artifacts to visitors, or you encourage people to engage with artifacts or places to create meaning, that is interpretation. In other words, MAM's members want visitors to make meaning during their visit: learn something, experience something different, or gain understanding about the value of a place--these are meaningful experiences.
In 1976, the organization Interpretation Canada defined interpretation in this way: “Interpretation is a communication process, designed to reveal meanings and relationships of our cultural and natural heritage, through involvement with objects, artifacts, landscapes and sites.” This understanding of interpretation has been widely accepted in the museum field. Under this definition, any organization that interprets artifacts, human culture, science and technology, and/or the environment is included in MAM’s mission.
Our organization is seasonal, or we are staffed only by volunteers. Why should we join? Many of MAM's member institutions are seasonal, and many more have no paid staff. In these organizations, resources and volunteers' time are perhaps even more precious. In addition to increased visibility through our website's search feature, your organization can benefit in a number of ways. Our newsletter shares ideas from organizations similar to yours, you can get ideas about fundraising, grant deadlines, and workshops, not to mention see what other organizations are doing and get inspired. Don't waste precious time reinventing the wheel (so to speak); instead, build upon others' experiences, connect with colleagues, and be inspired by all our members are doing.
MAM operates year-round, and we use the shoulder seasons to offer workshops and other events because we know how busy you are in the summer!