Collections Trust, in partnership with MDNW, has developed a programme for North West museums to support those struggling to resolve their documentation backlogs.
Accredited museums must have a plan to resolve their documentation backlogs (requirement 2.5). As well as best practice, documentation planning helps museums improve and enhance their records and focus resources, so that their collections can contribute to different engagement activities.
However we know that museums sometimes find this requirement confusing, for example what counts as a documentation backlog for Accreditation?
A strategic aim for Collections Trust is to ‘…work in partnership with other sector bodies to reduce significantly the number of UK museums without an appropriate inventory of their holdings.’
We have developed this pilot programme, ‘What’s In Store?’, with Museum Development North West, to work with a group of museums to develop appropriate documentation plans and get to grips with their backlogs.
The improved Inventory procedure in SPECTRUM 5.0, to be launched soon, has been developed to help museums identify and resolve their backlogs, making the requirements for Accreditation much clearer. In this programme, we will explore the minimum level of inventory information needed for each object (or group of objects), to ensure accountability. This minimum information also helps museums mitigate risks, including security, ethical and legal risks.
In our first workshop Sarah Brown, Outreach Officer for Collections Trust, will introduce the new SPECTRUM 5.0 Inventory and Documentation Planning (previously Retrospective Documentation) procedures, and together we will identify priorities and actions for each organisation, offering support over summer 2017 to work on these. This support will take the form of remote mentoring and advice – for example your organisation might seek support to develop an appropriate documentation plan, improve the implementation of documentation procedures or work on your procedural manual.
The group will come back together in December 2017 to discuss progress, next steps and potential further support from Museum Development and Collections Trust.
The programme is for up to eight Accredited museums, able to commit to the programme as outlined below.
- 8th June 2017, 2.00pm-5.00pm, Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston. An introductory workshop, to develop priorities and actions.
- Summer 2017 – Mentoring support from Collections Trust, to work on actions set at initial workshop.
- 1st December 2017, 10.00am-4.00pm, Lancashire Conservation Studios, Preston. A follow-up workshop to discuss progress and next steps.
If you wish to participate in the programme, please complete the ‘What’s In Store?’ Expression of Interest Form and return it to Kaye Hardyman Museum Development Officer for MDNW by the 12th May 2017.