Do you REALLY know what's in the collection? How's that catalog backlog? Documentation? Do you collect actively or passively? Many museums have poor intellectual control of their holdings which makes considering new acquisitions difficult and time consuming. A Collecting Plan can help you understand your collection, ensure that it supports your mission, and, most importantly, that it is a sharply honed tool for public engagement.
Whether your policy is outdated or yet-to-be-created, this foundation document creates clear communication for all stakeholders about how the collection fits into the museum. Has the same confusing problem popped up more than once? Time for a policy adjustment!
Deaccession (the administrative decision to remove an object from the museum's collection) and disposal (the step taken to re-home those objects) are regular and responsible parts of creating a functional museum collection. Deaccession and disposal projects can clear out redundant or mission irrelevant objects freeing resources to care for what's important.
I work with SKINsoft, creators of S-Museum, a fully web-based software service for museum collection management. This product is a revolution in data and process management for museum collections. With support for web publishing, library collections, archaeology, and digital asset management, S-museum is nimble and flexible.
Do you have data entry guidelines? Do you have some, but they're inconsistently applied? Are your records an interpretive mosaic created by many workers from illegible 1970s catalog worksheets? Tidy data is an excellent tool to build your collection department's capacity. Clean up your information to spend less time parsing through "maybe relevant" records in your search to build an exhibition, decide what to publish to the web, or guide your deaccession decisions.
With a 90% award-rate, I can help you write project plans that serve your strategic direction and mission while meeting grant requirements. Following the award, I can help you plan for the reporting requirements, track the project, and ensure that required evaluation and reporting is completed. Great grant opportunities.
Wonder where your museum sits in the big picture of the field? What are other organizations like yours doing? But, even better, what are non-museums doing and what can you learn from them? Using quantitative and qualitative methods we can help you understand where you are and the best strategic directions for your organization's future. Its a team-based, fun and creative approach, so plan to participate!
Just like any moving part, organiziation teams get rusty, or the environment changes and new functions are required. Determine what your team's goals are then perform a current inventory and future needs assessment that will idicate deficienies and professional development opportutnities.
No in a museum should serve only one goal. If you would like to get the most out of a resource investment, having an outside perspective can be useful. Make the best of "excellent opportunity, uncomfortable timeline" situations by opening your view past the immediate problem to understand the full range of capacity that might be created from one resource investment.
A good strategic plan is nimble, flexible, and responds to changes in the environment. It provides clear, strategic direction, accountability, and measures of success. Plans can be for one person's development, a department to improve its integration in the organiziation, or for the entire museum.