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Annual reports

The inventory of specific quantitative data from museum annual reports as a source for museometry research.

"Examine the nature of the quantitative data published in annual reports of museums in 2008": in short this was the RCE's request in 2011 of the research & consultancy company Panteia/Research for Policy. 

Klaartje van Eijk Jaarverslag SMA 2008

Klaartje van Eijk, Annual report Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 2008

In addition, the RCE wished to learn the extent to which the figures of the various museums are comparable (excluding financial data). It was ultimately a question of determining whether annual reports were useful as a structural source for museometry research.


In total Panteia studied 39 annual reports from 2008 of mainly large and medium-sized art museums. The scope and composition of the group under study was determined by the availability (in print or digital) of an annual report. Art museums with no available report were obviously not studied.


The survey showed that most museums do not have a (publicly available) annual report. The annual reports were also very disparate in nature, making comparison difficult.


Many yearly reports presented statistics on visitor numbers, outgoing loans and acquisitions. It seemed as if museums stated these figures with some pride. This is most evident from the fact that figures of the number of incoming loans were barely mentioned.