The International Association of Museums of History

Who we are

The IAMH targets museums of contemporary, social and cultural history. Its members amount to about 60 different museums and individuals all over the world.

Statutes of the International Association of Museums of History:

« Thus we have arrived at a decomposition of history into floor plans. Or, if you will, to the distinction, in the time of history, of a geographical time, of a social time, of an individual time »

Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean world in the Age of Philip II,
Preface to the 1 st edition, Armand Colin, 1949


The International Association of Museums of History (IAMH/AIHM) was founded in Paris in 1991 to foster work and ideas of relevance to history museums. It was originally created in response to the statement that there was no clear definition of the history museum and the fact that it was defined rather with respect to what it was not than to what it was. From its beginnings, the Association has been striving to organise professional discussions within the group of museums which share the characteristic of possessing historic collections.

Since 2003, the IAMH/AIHM has been working as an organisation affiliated to the International Council of Museums (ICOM), but acting on a smaller scale. Since 2014, the IAMH/AIHM’s legal seat has been situated in Paris.

The IAMH/AIMH targets museums of contemporary, social and cultural history. With a membership that includes a variety of museums and individual professionals in Europe, we aim to stimulate professional debate about topics relevant to history museums both on the theoretical and practical levels. The IAMH/AIMH functions as a complementary think tank on topics at the edge of historic research in museums: difficult heritages, problems of interpretation in a time of growing diversification and many public voices, challenging subject matters, the challenges of translating complex narratives into exhibitions, the social relevance of exhibitions, etc.

So far, the Association has organised several international conferences with different partner museums.

Since 2005, we have been organising annual workshops under the general title “History Museums in Focus: Museum Professionals in Dialogue”. It has consisted of one study per year, based on a case study, and animated by open exchange. Its objective is to reflect and discuss in particular about new museum and exhibition projects, and share experiences and practices.

In order to achieve its aim, IAMH offers several services to its members:

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