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Museum Collections Management

Museum Collections Management

Freda Matassa


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Book Details


'Collections management' is a relatively new term in the museums and cultural heritage sector, and yet it is fundamental to what museums do and why they exist. The term is sometimes synonymous with database systems for collections information, but in its wider sense, it encompasses all the core activities of collecting, displaying and providing access to museum objects. Caring for collections today requires a wide knowledge of legal and ethical considerations, such as due diligence and immunity from seizure, and of recent developments in the areas of sustainability, security and economics. This timely book addresses the key principles and strategies for looking after culturally significant objects and their associated information as well as the relevant laws and codes of ethics. It then moves on to the practical processes involved, such as classification, contracts and loans. As such, it is a landmark publication and the first comprehensive and practical guide to collections management. Key chapters include: legal and ethical issues; basic practice; documentation; movement and storage; acquisitions and loans; exhibitions and displays; and, access. Procedures are based on international museum practice and presented in a simple step-by-step process that will act as a guide for any transaction. This is backed up by examples of real policies and documents drawn from major museums, together with suggestions for additional resources. This essential guide covers everything a collections manager needs to know, whatever the size and type of collection, and will be of immense value to everyone in the cultural heritage sector, including museum professionals, curators of private collections, museum studies students and anyone responsible for caring for items of cultural significance.
"This book brings together all the fundamentals of collections management in an easy-to-read, accessible format (or guide?) - an essential reference book for all museums." - Diane Gwilt
"This is an important and useful book. Our copy arrived yesterday and already I've found it useful! It's careful, comprehensive and above all, well-evidenced." - Dr Samuel J M M Alberti
" excellent up-to-date resource for collection managers and other people working and aspiring to work in the cultural heritage sector. It is a book that every museum should have in the office." - Managing Information
Freda Matassa FRSA MA(Hons) DipAL DipEd is a wellknown UK expert on collections management who advises, teaches and lectures internationally. Former Head of Collections Management at the Tate Gallery and co-founder of the European Registrars Conference, she is expert adviser on several European projects for museum standards and to the Minister of Culture on immunity from seizure. She was recently named one of the Top 50 Women to Watch in the arts.