MINIM-UK: A New Musical Heritage Learning Resource

MINIM is now the largest national resource about musical instruments in public collections and includes photographs, video and sound recordings and information about over 20,000 instruments in 200 collections in the UK.

Discover musical instruments from our national museums such as the British Museum, V&A and Science Museum as well as over 4,000 instruments making their online debut thanks to a team of tireless cataloguers who have travelled the UK digitising as they go. For real enthusiasts, find up-to-date lists and navigable maps of UK Museums with musical instruments in their collections.

The project was generously supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in 2015 and has been led by the Royal College of Music in partnership with Edinburgh University, the Horniman Museum and Gardens and the Royal Academy of Music, supported by Google Arts and Culture.

Find out more here.

The platform is built using open-source technology and we would be glad to share resources or experience with anyone who is interested in finding out more. Get in touch with us at


Museum University Partnerships Initiative (MUPI)

Call for Participation

A project associated with the Museum University Partnerships Initiative (MUPI) is being conducted to support a preliminary investigation into the possibility of a website to link museums with researchers. To do this, the views of academics and museum staff are needed to form the basis of the work.

Such a site would allow museums to promote their lesser known collections or objects to researchers whilst also enabling researchers to seek specific items or information from museums, particularly smaller regional establishments.

The survey is available here and should only take a couple of minutes to fill in.

Focus groups are being held to discuss the subject further in York and Leeds in the week beginning 4 December, if you would be interested in attending please contact Kate Stephenson at

Museum Accreditation Survey

From Arts Council England:

The UK partners (Arts Council England, Museums Galleries, the Welsh Government, and Northern Ireland Museums Council) are currently undertaking a review into Museum Accreditation. We have been working with a wide range of stakeholders including the Museum Development Network, the Association of Independent Museums, the Museums Association, local authority museums, national museums, independents and volunteer run museums. We have also received feedback, comments and suggestions from many individuals.

This survey is a response to the things which you have told us are not currently working. You have told us that Accreditation is too bureaucratic and that we ask for too much information which is not relevant to a baseline quality standard. You have also told us that expectations within the Accreditation Standard are not proportionate and reasonable for smaller organisations. We know that the returns cycle isn’t currently working and some of you have told us you would like this extended. This survey will look at these areas and a range of other issues we have heard about.

Some of the things that are not currently working well such as our internal processes and online systems, do not appear in this survey. From the feedback we have already received we recognise these challenges and are already making some changes to find longer term solutions for these issues.

To complete the survey please visit the survey site.

The Clore Leadership Programme Events

Clore Chair/CEO Training Days
Spring 2018, Manchester and London

Clore are currently accepting applications for our upcoming series of training days for Chairs and CEOs/Artistic Directors coming as a pair, which will be held in London on the 25th of January and 15th of March 2018, and in Manchester on the 13th of February.

There are places for ten organisations available at each event. Organisations will be selected on the merit of their applications and every effort will be taken to ensure a good mix of experience, art form and regional representation.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on the 30th November 2017.

How you learn
“Extremely informative, mutually supporting including good opportunities for peer learning. Good balance between presentations and breakout sessions.  Practical, informative and good-humoured.” (Chair)

The training is very practical and break-out groups are encouraged to identify action points. The training covers issues such as:

  • artistic risk;
  • financial information;
  • legal responsibilities;
  • strategic planning;
  • diversity;
  • recruitment;
  • succession planning.

The Clore team for each day will normally consist of a course leader, a financial expert and a facilitator.

What difference will the course make to you?
“Very rewarding and insightful.  Invigorating.”  (Chair)

By the end of the day, participants will:

  • Be up-to-speed on current developments in governance;
  • Have plenty of best-practice examples of effective governance from across the arts and culture sector;
  • Have considered the relationship between the Chair and CEO/Artistic Director, reviewed whether it is working, and whether anything could be changed;
  • Have received specific guidance and advice from governance experts;
  • Have a practical toolkit to respond to the issues facing your board/organisation.

“Right pace, relevant; good presentations; excellent stories; time to reflect with other arts organisations. Investing in board training is time well spent.” (CEO)

Who can apply?

Chairs and CEOs of arts and cultural organisations based in England are invited to apply. The Board Development Programme is funded by Arts Council England, and we would particularly welcome applications from National Portfolio Organisations including those awarded National Portfolio status in the latest round of funding (2018-2022).

Governance Guide
Earlier this summer, the Clore Governance team published a free online toolkit of useful resources for Trustees and staff who work with Boards supported by Arts Council England. You might be interested in downloading it here.


Both London events will be held at Friends House, 173-177 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2BJ

The event in Manchester will be held at Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL

All events will run from 10:00-16:30

In the application form, you will be able to select your preferred event. If you have any queries, please email or call the office.

25th January, 2018 10:00 AM   to   15th March, 2018 4:00 PM

Event Fee – Price per pair – £300.00

Freelance Opportunity: Manchester Jewish Museum

Capital Project Manager
Fee: £48,000 & VAT
Contract type: Part time
Duration: December 2017 – 2020
Closing date: 12noon, 27th November 2017

Manchester Jewish Museum is looking for an experienced Capital Project Manager to manage all aspects of its building works programme.

The Capital Project Manager will have overall responsibility for managing the capital works programme, ensuring the design team and contractors meet all set deadlines within agreed budgets. Reporting directly to the Project Sponsor, the Capital Project Manager will chair regular project meetings and produce monthly progress reports for the Board, project team and funders.

Key objectives

  • Develop and maintain project management structure and governance
  • Manage capital project schedules and documentation
  • Manage project risks particularly the budget for the capital building work
  • Adhere to reporting cycles for funders, primarily HLF

Main Responsibilities & Key Tasks

  • Manage all aspects of the delivery of the museum’s building works programme, including all tender processes, construction, restoration and fit-out work
  • Manage and co-ordinate the design team and contractors to meet set deadlines and agreed budgets
  • Coordinate and supervise overall planning, capital project structure, schedule, budgets, risk management and tender processes
  • Lead the procurement of all contractors, managing the tender process and all contractual agreements
  • Chair regular project meetings with consultants and Capital Group members ensuring proper meeting documentation and communication processes are established and adhered to
  • Produce monthly progress reports for the Board, staff, project team and funders, comprising finance report, programme progress, risk/opportunity and procedural updates
  • Review current project management structure and make any necessary changes as agreed with the Capital Group
  • Review and process all project related purchase orders and invoices, confirming accuracy with contracted scope of work, and contracted rates
  • Review all proposed plans and construction documents to identify possible value engineering and cost reduction opportunities and work with the various teams to incorporate these changes
  • Responsible for the flow of information between the capital project team and others as required
  • Devote sufficient time and resource to the project bearing in mind that the museum is not an experienced or sophisticated client

Application deadline: 12noon, Monday 27th November 2017. Interviews will be held week beginning 4th December.

For further details see

Job Opportunity: Documentation Officer, Lancashire County Council Museum Service

About the Role

The Conservation & Collections Team of Lancashire County Council Museum Service support the operation and development of museums across Lancashire through the provision of conservation, technical, design and curatorial and specialist documentation skills. They also undertake work for external clients including national museums and heritage organisations.

Reporting to the Registrar, they are looking for an enthusiastic individual with a range of ICT and organisational skills who is used to working to a high standard and to multiple deadlines.

The post is 14.8 hours weekly, Grade 5 Local Authority salary scales pro rata.
This is a temporary post for 12 months.
Key Accountabilities

To contribute to achieving & maintaining ACE Museum Accreditation for Lancashire County Council Museum Service and all its component sites with regard to collection documentation.

To undertake documentation & collection management activities, via the Emu collection management system.

To support the promotion of the museums’ collections to a wider public through education, public access, events and activities, exhibitions and outreach work.

To assist in the implementation of forward and collection management plans for Lancashire County Council Museum Service and all its component museums.

To be assist in the supervision and training of volunteers and museum assistants.
To assist with the administration of general collection management including loans and exhibitions.

To follow H&S procedures with regard to working practices for the use of the museum collections.


For more information and how to apply please click here.

Tender Opportunity: Evaluation of History of Lancashire in 70 Objects

Lancashire County Council is seeking a consultant experienced in evaluation for the History of Lancashire in 70 Objects project, a HLF funded project with huge support from all its partner organisations.

This exciting project has brought heritage venues and 70 year old Lancashire Life together in shared working and we want to complete the programme with a clear picture of its reach, its successes and any areas where we might have worked more effectively if we had taken another path.

If you are experienced in teasing out and drawing together points of view, marshalling and analysing them and bringing out the evidence, successes and lessons learnt then we are keen to hear from you.

The fee available for this project is £4,000. Background information and the aims of this element of the project are laid out in more detail in the brief History of Lancs in 70 Objects Evaluation Brief Nov 2017. Deadline for proposals is 6pm Thursday 16th November 2017.

Business skills programme – additional time management workshop added

Time management skills
6th February 2018, 10.30am-4pm
Manchester Museum

 Due to popular demand we have added an additional time management course to our business skills support programme. The programme is open to all staff and volunteers of Accredited museums, or those officially working towards it, in the North West.

This programme of workshops is being delivered by ACM Training, an experienced training company which has been delivering communication and organisational development sessions to a wide range of clients from the government, corporate and voluntary sectors for more than 20 years.

Due to the popularity of the course and limited numbers we will be restricting bookings to no more than two places per museum. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. To book a place go to

Bespoke CPD opportunities
Funding is also still available from the bespoke CPD opportunities part of our business skills support programme. We are offering Continuing Professional Development bursaries for staff and volunteers to tailor their own CPD in business skills. The bursaries are available for people working in museums to participate in any type of existing CPD opportunity to develop their core business skills and which will support their museum to run as a more effective and resilient organisation. Applications could range from a basic Microsoft Excel course to improve budgeting and record keeping skills to a full ILM qualification. To apply for a bursary contact Alex Bird,, with the following information:

  • What the CPD opportunity is, including details of the course/opportunity you have identified
  • Evidence of need and details on how it will improve your work
  • Proof of line management approval
  • Cost of training and amount requested from MDNW
  • Timetable

This programme runs through 2017-18 and has a rolling deadline so once you have identified an appropriate opportunity please let us know. Once all the funding has been allocated the offer will close.

Culture Now – New network launched to support mid-career heritage professionals

Final Logo copy

Culture Now is a new national network founded with the purpose of supporting mid-career heritage professionals who wish to challenge established thinking and make a change.

Launching in November 2017, Culture Now’s ambition is to create a national network which supports those new to the sector through to mid-level professionals. It is a platform to exchange ideas and develop strong professional connections across the country, whether remotely or in person.

Founded by heritage professionals that recognise the limited opportunities to influence change and comment on the issues that affect us all, Culture Now with funding from Museum Development in the North West and East Midlands want to work collaboratively across the cultural sector to provide a platform to represent, articulate and promote the views and ideas of early to mid-level professionals while supporting and sharing professional development and networking.

Culture Now is looking to grow its professional network and to hear the ideas of people that would like to be involved with the group. If you are interested, participate with us at the Festival of Change, follow us on Twitter @_CultureNow, visit and subscribe to our blog or email

Team pic copy.jpg
Image – Culture Now team (Pictured L-R: Carol King, Sarah Hartshorne, Simon Brown, Charlotte Pratley, Tom Newman, Dhikshana Pering, Alex Bird. Not pictured, Katie Ann Smith)

MA Museums Survey

Museum Development North West

The Museums Association (MA) has launched a new UK-wide Museums Survey.

Museums of all sizes and types are urged to complete the survey in order to build a comprehensive picture of current state of the museum sector across the UK.

The survey comes at an important moment for museums, with a wide range of sector reviews ongoing across the UK.

The survey is short and will be easy to complete by a member of staff with a good overview of their museum’s work, ideally a manager, director or someone who gathers information for an annual report. The questions cover: type of museum; visitor numbers and engagement; museum finances; volunteers and staff; education work; and challenges and opportunities for the future including Brexit. The deadline is 24th November.

To complete the survey click here.

The survey will provide national level data on the museums sector that all museums…

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