Collections Trust

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The Collections Trust
Collections Trust logo.jpg
Collections Trust logo
Founded 1977
Location
  • Collections Trust
    Natural History Museum
    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 5BD
Area served International
Products Collections management standards, publications and events
Key people Nick Poole, CEO
Website www.collectionstrust.org.uk
Formerly called Museum Documentation Association

The Collections Trust is an independent UK-based organisation that works with worldwide museums, libraries, galleries and archives to improve the management and use of collections. It was established in February 1977 as the Museum Documentation Association (MDA) and re-launched as Collections Trust in 2008. Its head office is in South Kensington, London.

Mission and aims[edit]

According to the Collections Trust’s Strategic Plan, the organisation has the following strategic aims:[1]

  • Connect the public with collections
  • Develop the collections workforce
  • Demonstrate the value of good Collections Management
  • Build digital capacity for museums, archives and libraries
  • Deliver an excellent organisation.

The Collections Trust is also a registered charity (Registered No. 273984). The charitable purposes were set out in 1977 and are:

  • To promote the education of the public by the development of museums and similar organisations by all appropriate methods;
  • To develop, promote, maintain and improve standards of collections and information management in museums, art galleries, heritage organisations and other collecting institutions;
  • To provide services and resources which improve the standards and methods of collections management and use.

Work[edit]

Standards and publications

The Collections Trust developed the SPECTRUM Standard – the Museum Collections Management Standard – in 1994. The standard details how to manage collections and what to do with artefacts at each stage of their lifecycle in a collection. The Standard is now in its fourth edition and is used by the majority of museums. It has been translated into several languages including Dutch and Flemish.

The organisation also produces collections management best practice guides and benchmarking tools. It has particular expertise in digital collections management and the use of new technology for museums, such as 3D imaging. Many of its resources are freely available on its website.

Events

The Collections Trust hosts a number of practical workshops and seminars for Collections Management professionals and an annual conference, called OpenCulture. At this conference the Collections Trust’s Awards are presented. Previous award winners include:

2012

2013

2014

Funded projects

The Collections Trust works on many projects that are funded by Arts Council England and by the European Commission. It is currently managing 20m Euros worth of EC projects, including Athena Plus, Digital Cultural Heritage Roadmap for Preservation (DCH-RP), EEXCESS, EU Collections Competencies Project (EUColComp), Europeana Food and Drink and Europeana Inside. The Collections Trust leads the UK’s involvement in the Europeana project.

Key people[edit]

Directors

Current board members[2]

History[edit]

The early team at the MDA was led by Martin Porter and included researchers Andrew Roberts (who later became head of the MDA) and Richard Light. Early achievements included the production of the Social History and Industrial Classification Scheme (SHIC) in 1983 (in partnership with the SHIC Working Party),[3] the MDA Data Standard in 1991, and the SPECTRUM standard in 1994.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.collectionstrust.org.uk
  2. ^ http://www.collectionstrust.org.uk/the-board
  3. ^ Holm, S: Social History and Industrial Classification Scheme

External links[edit]