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How many instruments does the MIM have?

About 10,000. Of these, around 1200 are on display in the galleries. Check out our online catalogue here.

What happens to instruments not on display?

They are kept in an air-conditioned store with lighting control.

Are the instruments in the collection ever played?

Only very occasionally. This scientific institution's mission is primarily to conserve its patrimony for later generations and use of the instruments in an artistic context would be at odds with that mission.

I have an instrument. Can anyone from the MIM tell me what it is worth?

The MIM is not allowed to value instruments, but we can tell you if we would be interested should you consider gifting it or selling it to the MIM.

I want to gift or sell an instrument to the MIM. How do I go about this?

Contact us via In the first instance, the relevant curator will consider whether or not your proposal would add substantially to our already very extensive collection. The case is then discussed in a scientific meeting. Where a gift or sale is agreed, an official contract is drawn up. Please note that the MIM never guarantees to put items on show.

I have a musical instrument but I don't know what it is or how to play it. Whose advice can I ask?

Contact us via

I have invented a new instrument. Who can I show it to?

Contact us via

I have some old recording and reproduction equipment. Might the MIM be interested in it?

Though we do have some reproduction equipment, this is not the MIM's speciality. However, you can send a message to

I have piano rolls / wax cylinders / vinyl records / tapes / cassettes. Might the MIM be interested in them?

This is unlikely but send details anyway. Send a message to

Who can I contact for photographs, videos and sound recordings of musical instruments?

For photographs, contact Anja Van Lerberghe and for sound recordings Matthieu Thonon. The MIM does not have a video archive.

Does the MIM provide technical drawings of instruments?

Yes we do. Please reach the museumshop.

How many people visit the MIM each year?

On average 125,000 people visit the museum every year. Group visits, especially from schools, make up some 15% of the total number of visitors.

How would you describe the typical visitor to the MIM?

Typically the MIM attracts better educated adults aged between 25 and 65, often in couples or small groups. The age group tends to be younger at 'nocturnes' and special events.

According to the ongoing surveys carried out by the Observatoire public des établissements scientifiques fédéreaux / Publieksobservatorium van de Wetenschappelijke Instellingen, which researches and analyzes museum statistics, 54% choose French, 34% English and 12% Dutch. A staggering 72% of visitors to the mim are foreigners; consequently, the percentage of return visitors is low (13%). Most of the Belgians come from the Brussels Region (48%), most of the foreigners from France (28%), UK (13%), the Netherlands (7%), the USA, Germany, Spain and Italy (each approx. 6%).

Is the MIM a municipal, provincial, regional or federal museum?

The MIM is a federal scientific institution, 4th department of the Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH). The RMAH is one of the group of four large federal museums, along with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, the Royal Museum for Central Africa and the Fine Arts Museum.

Can I organize a concert at the MIM?

You can contact Annelien Verbeeck in order to discuss cooperation.

Does the MIM hire out musical instruments?

No. Items in the collection never leave the mim to be played. The only time they leave the mim is as loans to, for example, museums for exhibitions. We suggest you look in the 'Musical Instruments - Hire' section of the Yellow Pages. There is a separate section for pianos.

Can the MIM give me information about musicians?

We suggest you try out the following online databases : Kunstenpunt (for pop and classical music), Muziekmozaïek (for folk and jazz), Centre Belge d'Action Interculturelle (for world music). You can also contact the Maison des musiques.

Can the MIM provide me with details of instrument makers?

For specific makers you would do best to contact us via