Consultancy Opportunity – Numismatic Collections Reviews

Context

Museum Development North West is managed by the Manchester Partnership and Cumbria Museum Consortium. The funding for the programme comes from Arts Council England’s (ACE) Museum Development funding 2015-18.

The areas of MDNW’s work are based around ACE’s five goals as set out in their ten-year strategic plan ‘Great Art and Culture for Everyone’ – www.artscouncil.org.uk:

  1. Excellence is thriving and celebrated in the arts, museums and libraries
  1. Everyone has the opportunity to experience and to be inspired by the arts, museums and libraries
  1. The arts, museums and libraries are resilient and environmentally sustainable
  1. The leadership and workforce in the arts, museums and libraries are diverse and appropriately skilled
  1. Every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts, museums and libraries

Summary objective

The purpose of this brief is to encourage proposals for a review of numismatic collections to support the display and use of underused numismatic collections in regional museums (ACE Goal 1). Four museums with numismatic collections but without a specialist post on staff will be selected for a review.

The aim of the programme is to help bring underused numismatic collections back into use by enabling a specialist to spend time with the collections, identifying key objects, strengths and weaknesses of the collection, working with non-specialists within the museum to increase their knowledge and understanding of the collections. The consultant will suggest priorities and ideas for use, whether through exhibitions, learning, outreach etc, improvements to the care and management of the collections, and collections development. As a result of these reviews, the participating museums will begin work towards delivering increased public use and access to the collections from 2016 onwards.

It is envisaged that the programme will be delivered through individual site visits and feedback sessions with the museums. Some of the key issues to be addressed may include:

  1. Identifying key important and significant objects, and key collectors
  2. Identifying strengths and weaknesses of the collection
  3. Assessment of the overall condition of the collection, identifying key objects requiring immediate attention, with a plan for the improved care of the overall collection
  4. Improvements to the documentation and record-keeping of the collection, including effective use of images
  5. Working with museum staff and volunteers to increase their knowledge, understanding and confidence in using the collections
  6. Identifying areas or stories which could inspire activities. These could include:
  • Exhibitions (temporary or permanent)
  • Supporting the National Curriculum
  • Work with community or special interest groups
  • Programme of events
  • Online resources etc

Documentation will be produced for each site and should demonstrate findings, suggestions for outcomes that are achievable and realistic, including in terms of future resources likely to be needed. The programme may highlight some partnerships, joint working or other ways in which the museum can collaborate to make the most of their numismatic collections to create an improved offer for visitors.

The consultant is to deliver the following objectives and outcomes:

  1. Recognition of the significance and strengths of the numismatic collections
  2. Support the development of the museum’s plans for the collection and identify the priorities
  3. Give the museums the knowledge and tools to care for and use numismatic collections
  4. Production of a prioritised report for each museum that gives them the information they need to take initiatives forward

Budget and timescales:

The budget for the study is £5,000 including VAT and expenses incurred by the consultant. It is envisaged that the study will commence in late October-November 2015 and will be completed by 31st March 2016.

The detailed timescale for undertaking each review will be agreed by the consultant and individual museums.

Please submit a proposal by 5pm Friday 16th October 2015 of no more than 4 sides A4 outlining relevant experience and how you would deliver the project. This should be supported by a quotation (including stated daily rate) and your CV.

For more information or to submit your proposal please email: Lynsey Jones, Museum Development Officer, at lynsey.jones@manchester.ac.uk.

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