MIMO began life as a consortium of some of Europe’s most important musical instruments museums, which came together for a European Commission funded project that aimed to create a single online access point to their collections. The MIMO Project ran from September 2009 until August 2011, in the process creating the world's largest freely accessible database for information on musical instruments held in public collections.
In addition, the partners worked on multilingual content to enable searching in six different languages, associating non-specialist vocabulary with terms and classification systems used by professionals. Other key outcomes included the development of documentation that sets out standards for photographing musical instruments, so that other museums can make use of these to digitise their own collections, and detailed guidelines on how to set up a repository to enable the harvesting of digital content.
The aim of the consortium is now to become the single access point for information on public collections of musical instruments for the entire world.