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Resolutions adopted by ICOM's General Assembly 1965

8th General Assembly of ICOM

New York, N.Y., USA, 2 October 1965

Motion Resolution No. 1


Considering the part that can be played by museums of science and technology in furthering basic education, scholastic education and the adaptation of the individual to the modern world, particularly in rapidly developing countries,

Conscious of the technical and financial difficulties involved in the creation of such museums,

Having been approached by the International Committee for Museums of Science and Technology with a project for establishing a programme and promoting the creation of small museums composed of standardized elements at low cost which will be devoted to scientific knowledge and basic techniques and will be aided by the active cooperation of large museums in highly industrialized countries,

Expresses the wish that UNESCO include in its programme and budget for the 1967-1968 period a sum, provisionally estimated at approximately $50,000, for financing the execution of this project and the realization of prototypes,

Hopes that other United Nations agencies such as the FAO, the WHO, the Social and Economic Council, will associate themselves with this effort.

Resolution No. 2



a. that modern industrial and economic development, although its benefits cannot be denied, must nevertheless endanger the natural and cultural heritage indispensable to the equilibrium and happiness of mankind,

b. that the policy of study, protection, and worthy presentation of this heritage, although widely practised in certain countries, is still far from meeting all the requirements of the situation, owing primarily to insufficient agreement on the international and professional level,

c. that museums in various countries should follow the example of other scientific and cultural institutions and should themselves adopt such a policy, for their own benefit,

Recalling in this connection Motion 4 of the 7th General Assembly,

Recommends that museums of natural history, of archaeology, and of ethnography consider the following principles when establishing their programmes:

a. Research missions in the field must be coordinated at the international level in order to avoid competition and overlapping;

b. A common order of priority must be established bearing in mind those zones which have been least studied and which are more directly involved in industrial expansion;

c. The museums in the countries involved should associate themselves with these tasks;

d. Once operations have started, the more developed museums should help in the training of scientific personnel from the lesser developed museums in order to promote the latter;

e. Once operations have been completed, the museums of the countries involved should have their due share of the results, in accordance with principles similar to those laid down in the UNESCO recommendation concerning excavations;

f. UNESCO should be requested to offer its help.

Resolution No. 3


Considering that exchanges of all kinds between scientific or cultural institutions constitute a powerful factor in international cooperation, professional specialization and mutual understanding,

Having received many proposals from its International and National Committees aimed at promoting and encouraging such exchanges between museums in the various countries,

Reaffirms its support of UNESCO in any action taken in this direction by that organization,

Recommends that museums, together with the administrative bodies and public or private institutions on which they are dependent, should facilitate as far as possible the creation of a series of bilateral or multilateral exchanges involving museum collections, individuals, and documentation.

Suggests that, to this end, the "twining" of museums in different countries should be encouraged and more widely practised.

Resolution No. 4


Considering that museums, as scientific institutions, are responsible not only for the collections which they house, but also for the documentation relative to these collections and to their field of research, which documentation should also be made available to research workers,

Conscious of the specific problems which occur in each category of museums as regards the elaboration of principles and methods enabling this documentation to be used rationally, arising, as they do, from the particular requirements of the scientific disciplines involved,

Recommends that museums pay special attention to establishing their documentation services on very strict bases, adopting as far as possible a common standard for all museums of one category,

Expresses the wish that each museum give priority in its programme to the compilation of a scientific catalogue of its collections,

Requests the various International Committees involved to study, in cooperation with the Documentation Committee and the UNESCO-ICOM Museum Documentation Centre, the problems presented by the standardization of the rules to be applied in this field (for each category of museum).

Resolution No. 5


Recalling that education is one of the basic functions of a museum,

Considering that modern pedagogic methods place particular importance on direct observation, thus placing museums in a privileged position among auxiliary institutions of scholastic teaching and popular education,

Referring to the international recommendation concerning the best ways of rendering museums accessible to everyone, which was adopted by the 11th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 1960,

Expresses the wish that the authorities in charge of museums and of education in all countries, at both the national and the provincial levels, ensure that museums possess the means to fulfil their rightful role, in association and cooperation with the various teaching ranks,

Recommends that museums establish direct contact with institutions of teaching and popular education, first, to inform them of the possibilities offered by museums and secondly, to achieve a better adaptation of their own display methods, educational activities and general programmes to the needs of these institutions.

Resolution No. 6


Considering the greatly increased role played by museums in education and the lack of sufficient information on the motivation, attitude and reactions of their visitors,

Recalling the conclusions adopted by the symposium on the educational and cultural role of museums held in Paris in 1964,

Recommends the administrations in charge of museums and the museums themselves to promote and undertake surveys on the public and on the efficiency of the educational programmes of these museums,

Expresses the wish that the results be brought together and correlated at one centre in each country, so that they may be used for the preparation of national plans and programmes for museums.

Resolution No. 7


Realizing that in certain countries national scientific and cultural institutions have been entrusted with the task of utilizing part of the non-convertible cash funds resulting from transaction with other countries, by using them within the latter countries for far-reaching projects such as archaeological research, development of education, etc.

Hopes that these funds might be used also for the development of museums and their activities, and for the training of their scientific and technical personnel in the countries in question,

Expresses the wish that any such projects which might be undertaken be coordinated with the relevant programmes of UNESCO, ICOM and its International Committees for these countries,

Instructs the Executive Committee to make contact with the institutions involved, with a view to studying possible ways of obtaining the desired coordination.

Resolution No. 8: Training of Museum Personnel


Considering the reports submitted to the General Conference during its 7th session and the discussions which followed the presentation of these reports,

Thanks the rapporteurs for their contributions, the session chairmen and the coordinator for all their work,

Instructs the ICOM Secretariat, in liaison with the coordinator, to study the possibility of publishing, in a form yet to be decided, the reports and conclusions of the working sessions,

Recommends that surveys, studies and pilot undertakings be carried out at the national level, on the initiative of National Committees, or other national organizations, and at the regional or international level, on the initiative of UNESCO and ICOM, on the basis of the document annexed to this resolution,

Decides that report on the progress made shall be included in the Agenda of the 8th General Conference.

Annexe to Resolution No. 8

1. It is vital that museum personnel of all categories should have a status corresponding to that of the academic profession, since the required qualifications and responsibilities are similar. With the equal qualifications and years of service, a member of the staff of a museum should have the same status and salary as a professional in the teaching world or other learned institution.

2. A candidate for the post of museum curator should possess a university diploma. Exceptions may be made for candidates of unusual merit.

3. Curators for all types of museums should receive a postgraduate training in a university or technical school covering museology in general. This training should include both theory and practice. Training also may be undertaken by a museum in the form of internships. This may include such subjects as field research, scientific examination of works of art, and technical studies pertaining to the candidate's own specialty. These postgraduate studies should receive the sanction of a diploma.

4. Curators and other trained museum personnel should be provided with the necessary facilities and time to carry on research and scientific work independent of their regular museum duties. They also should have opportunities to increase their knowledge through study in other museums in their country or abroad and to participate in seminars and conferences at home and abroad.

Conservation and Restoration Personnel

5. Scientific laboratory personnel should be recruited from university graduates in chemical, physical or biological sciences and should receive complementary training in two fields: art history, ethnology, archaeology, archive or natural history according to the nature of the museum to which they will be attached; particular scientific problems relative to the conservation of cultural property.

6. Restorers of works of art and conservation technicians in general should have a basic knowledge of traditional techniques and sufficient knowledge of art history and of science in the field in which they are to specialize. Restorers of works of art should also possess the gift of artistic sensitivity. Since it is rarely possible to be awarded diplomas in these fields, it is essential that the status and salaries of this category of personnel be the same as those of the curatorial staff.

Persons in charge of Educational and Cultural Activities

7. The educational and cultural role of museums having greatly increased in significance presupposes that qualified personnel be recruited from the teaching profession or from those who have received specialized academic instruction. To the first should be given complementary training in the basic disciplines of the museum; to the second complementary training in methods of education.  When it is not possible, complementary training should be given to teachers from outside the museum or to competent volunteers.

Technical personnel

8. The increasing complexity of museum techniques calls for the training in larger museums of specialized technicians in such areas as audio-visual techniques, installation and presentation, lighting, climate conditioning, security, library techniques and documentation, etc.

Small museums

9. The training of personnel for small museums must be basically the same as for large museums, but the duties required of curators and other personnel will naturally be many-sided and therefore less specialized. The staffs of smaller museums should extend their knowledge and skills through seminars and training programmes at institutions on the regional and national level.

Action of International Organizations

10. UNESCO, ICOM and the Rome Centre should coordinate their efforts in an endeavour to:

a. achieve the creation of a doctrine on the training of personnel, and make a summary of experiments at present being carried out;

b. establish a plan for the creation and development of training centres at the international level, particularly by calling on the assistance of international cooperation;

c. define the various types of centres and offer suggestions as to their programmes.


Updated: 20 June 2005