Founded in 1967, MCN (Museum Computer Network) has been serving the cultural heritage community for over 40 years. MCN is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation incorporated in the State of New York. MCN members represent a wide range of information professionals from hundreds of cultural sector institutions in North America and around the world.

Vision

MCN will be the essential source of support for the global community of professionals who seek to use digital technologies to help fulfill the missions of their cultural organizations.

Mission

MCN is a welcoming and candid community of professionals passionate about empowering museums to address challenges and embrace opportunities within the evolving digital landscape.

History

Founded in 1967 by a group of museum professionals eager to explore how computers could change their work and that of museums, MCN has provided a space for our community to connect, share their experience and learn from each other, in order that we 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.

Organization

MCN is managed by an Executive Director and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Activities

MCN is a members-based organization for those who believe that digital technologies are transforming the way museums reach, engage and educate audiences. Through diverse programs, including a hands-on conference, MCN advances our members in their roles as museums’ leaders and agents of change.  

The following regular programs are produced and sponsored by MCN:

  • MCN Conference – Our primary annual activity, the conference attracts hundreds of attendees from around the cultural heritage sector to explore the latest advances in museum technology. The conference offers workshops, panel presentations, and vendor demonstrations.
  • Ignite MCN – timed with our annual conference, this event features inspiring, thought-provoking presentations from leaders in the field.
  • MCN Pro Professional Development – Online Workshops and Free Google Hangouts
  • Special Interest Groups (SIGs) – MCN members can join SIGs organized around specific topics of interest. Topics range from Intellectual Property to Digital Video Production to Social Media. There are also regional SIGs.
  • MCN-L Listserv – MCN maintains an online discussion list, MCN-L, where members and non-members may post inquiries and announcements.

Board and staff

The MCN Board is composed of between 12 and 15 Directors, each of whom serves a term of three years. Directors are appointed before each annual conference. According to MCN’s By-Laws, each Director may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms; the President and President-Elect may serve as Directors ex officio after their appointed terms. All Board Officers listed below are also Directors, with the exception of the Past President. See current list of Board and staff.

Governance

As a non-for-profit organization, MCN is committed to maintaining a set of governing documents that essentially inform its directors, officers and staff how to properly run the organization. Though we try to amend the By-Laws only exceptionally, we review our Governance Guidelines annually, as well as other internal policies, such as Conflict of Interest Policy, Financial Guidelines and Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Reserve Policy. Information on past IRS Tax Return Forms 990, visit our Finance page. Consult MCN’s current Strategic Plan. Consult our Governance page.

FAQ

Do I have to be a member of MCN to interact with the community?
No. Many of the resources provided by MCN are free to anyone interested in advancing digital within the cultural sector. Anyone may join the listserv, utilize the website and social media resources, present at or attend the annual conference, and so on. Members provide crucial support to the organization and receive additional benefits.

Who is eligible to join MCN?
Membership is open to individuals, institutions, and corporations with an interest in advancing digital transformation in the cultural sector.

What special areas of expertise do MCN members have?
Members have in-depth knowledge of the diverse and emerging areas of digital technology in the cultural sector.