The Official Museum Directory

Ghanaian leopard fantasy coffin on display at the National Museum of Funeral History.

During a recent class on information services and sources we looked at physical examples of directories, bibliographies, directories of directories and, of course, bibliographies of bibliographies (try and say that 5 times fast!).  At first this may seem rather insipid, but the scope of these materials is quite impressive. Much to my surprise, directories exist for even the most esoteric subject areas (e.g., the Directory of Fisheries and Aquaculture Information Resources in Africa). However, what caught my eye was a directory of something familiar but unrecognized by me until now: the Official Museum Directory (OMD).

OMD is the authority on museum data. Geographically-arranged and containing over 14,000 entries, it is a “one-stop source for museum professionals, students, library patrons, and researchers who need comprehensive information on those institutions committed to celebrating and preserving the world’s culture, art, music, nature, and history.” That’s great and all, but what’s really captivating about this book is the wide variety of seemingly insignificant museums included on nearly every page.

Here’s a selection from the countless highlights I discovered flipping through it:

From now on, OMD will be one of the first things I consult when going on vacation or just looking for inspiration on a day off in the city.


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