Mission and vision

Norfolk Museums Service comprises museums, collections study centres and countywide services relating to archaeology and education.

Norfolk Museums Service (NMS) was established in 1974 when the County and District Councils in Norfolk agreed to delegate their museum powers to a Joint Committee to manage museums through a countywide Museums Service.

NMS is now regarded as one of the leading museum services in the UK. In 2012 NMS was one of 16 museums and museum consortia to be awarded Major Partner Museum status by Arts Council England. Find out more about how this funding is helping us improve services.


  • Inspiring pride in Norfolk’s heritage through 10 award-winning museums


  • Engaging and inspiring the widest possible audience, both across Norfolk and beyond
  • Enriching people’s lives and creating a sense of place and identity
  • Ensuring all Norfolk residents, especially children, experience high-quality learning in the museums we care for and through the collections in our trust
  • Contributing significantly to the visitor economy of Norfolk and contributing to the development of sustainable tourism partnerships
  • Developing our staff and volunteers to improve services and support wider employment and skills agendas
  • Collecting, preserving and interpreting the material evidence of Norfolk’s past
  • Stimulating creativity, inspiration and enjoyment through the museums and collections in our care


  • We are committed to caring for Norfolk’s rich heritage, both for future generations and for our communities and visitors today
  • We are passionate about learning and fostering skills and knowledge amongst Norfolk’s children
  • We provide leadership to other museums across Norfolk and the East of England, along with support to other cultural, educational and heritage organisations
  • We value and invest in our staff, trainees and volunteers so that they can deliver an outstanding service to our communities and to our visitors
  • We are accountable and credible in the work we do and we are open to challenge and advice
  • We are dedicated to the long-term care of the collections and historic buildings in our trust
  • We will work in partnership to achieve our mission and we will ensure that we are a trustworthy and dedicated partner to others
  • We will operate in a highly sustainable way, minimising our impact on the environment
  • We will encourage innovation and commercial awareness across all parts of our organisation