NMPS History, Mission, and Audience

Begun as a small seminar in 1989, the NMPS has become a vibrant biennial conference, welcoming professionals from the museum publishing world and beyond.


As repositories of the nation’s cultural, historic, and scientific resources, museums are in a unique position to develop specialized publications that reflect their educational missions and collections. Museum publication programs serve many purposes: scholarly, documentary, and informational. The purpose of the National Museum Publishing Seminar is to foster rigorous, informed conversations on the role of museum publishing today.


Speakers and attendees are drawn from the publications, digital media, and marketing departments at art, science, and history museums, as well as academics and professionals from university presses, small publishers, and design firms. They are joined by sponsors and exhibitors who serve museums and their needs by providing paper, printing, photographic expertise, design, writing, editing, packaging, web design, and other services.

Attendees come from a variety of personal and professional contexts, but are united in their desire for deep discussion around scholarly publications and their appreciation of museum books as art objects in their own right.

Program Archive

The NMPS was founded in 1989. Each year, we produce a print program listing all of our speakers, panels, and events. To learn more about previous conferences, please explore the resources below.

  Dates Location Program
19th July 9–August 12, 2020 Digital Conference 2020 NMPS Brochure
18th May 3–5, 2018 San Francisco, CA 2018 NMPS Brochure
17th May 12–14, 2016 Chicago, IL 2016 NMPS Brochure
16th June 12–14, 2014 Boston, MA 2014 NMPS Brochure
15th June 21–23, 2012 Chicago, IL 2012 NMPS Brochure
14th June 17–19, 2010 Washington DC 2010 NMPS Brochure
13th June 12–14, 2008 Chicago, IL 2008 NMPS Brochure
12th June 1–2, 2006 Philadelphia, PA 2006 NMPS Brochure
11th April 29–May 1, 2004 Pasadena, CA 2004 NMPS Brochure
10th September 26–28, 2002 Chicago, IL 2002 NMPS Brochure
9th July 13–15, 2000 Ottawa, Canada 2000 NMPS Brochure
8th April 30–May 1, 1998 New York, NY 1998 NMPS Brochure
7th April 25–27, 1996 Chicago, IL 1996 NMPS Brochure
6th May 3–6, 1995 Pasadena, CA 1995 NMPS Brochure
5th May 5–7, 1994 Washington DC 1994 NMPS Brochure
4th April 15–17, 1993 Chicago, IL 1993 NMPS Brochure
3rd December 11–13, 1991 Houston, TX 1991 NMPS Brochure
2nd December 6–7, 1990 Philadelphia 1990 NMPS Brochure
1st September 27–29, 1989 Milwaukee, WI 1989 NMPS Brochure