MCN envisions a world in which all museums are empowered digitally to achieve their missions.
To grow the digital capacity of museum professionals by connecting them to ideas, information, opportunities, proven practices, and each other.
Founded in 1967 in New York City by a group of early museum technologists eager to explore how computers could change their work and that of museums, The Museum Computer Network, as it was called back then – now referred to as simply “MCN” – offers a space for a vibrant community of museum professionals to connect, share effective practices, and advance the thinking around emerging technologies in museums. Much has changed in the past 50 years, but what sparked MCN to life then, remains unchanged today. This is a testament to its vibrancy and relevance as we continue to lead our museums into the future. Read about MCN’s rich history.
From its inception, MCN has always self-organized around its members. As a membership organization, MCN is dedicated to growing the digital capacity of museum professionals by connecting them to ideas, information, opportunities, proven practices, and each other. We do this by offering the following programs:
- MCN Conference: MCN’s marquee event hosted every year since 1968, MCN’s annual conference draws over 600 cultural heritage professionals from museums, historic sites and visitor attractions in North America and beyond. Each conference features a variety of interactions and professional development opportunities.
- Special Interest Groups (SIGs): MCN’s SIGs are volunteer-led members’ groups organized around specific topics of interest or niche practice areas that reflect the diversity of the many technology and digital practices in museums. SIGs provide MCN members the opportunity to connect with colleagues doing similar work, explore opportunities to collaborate among them, share resources and effective practices, or discuss ways to advance their area of digital practice.
- MCN Membership: membership is open to anyone willing to join an exceptional network of digital leaders and museum professionals who support each other by sharing expertise and resources.
- MCN Mentorship: MCN’s member-only annual mentorship program matches and supports a growing number of self-guided mentor-mentee pairs that helps them navigate their career and the challenges they face in an ever-changing world.
- MCN Pro webinars: a professional development webinar series, MCN Pro is a learning community aimed at providing engaging and effective professional development training and connecting experts across the MCN community.
- MCNx: a brand new program that encourages community members to organize local events that advance digital transformation in the museum sector with support from MCN. This format is a way to carry the spirit of the MCN annual conference home with you, identify and support emerging museum professionals, and to grow regional networks of museum innovators.
- MCN YouTube Channel: MCN offers hundreds of recorded conference presentations from its annual conference and online webinars on the MCN YouTube channel as a resource for the community.
- MCN-L Listserv: currently 2,500 subscribers strong, this is MCN’s most valuable resource to the community, offering the latest events and activities around the cultural sector, sharing resources, and engaging in daily discussions about current trends and effective practices where subscribers share Q&As and support each other on a variety of work challenges.