This guide aims to support museums in considering and selecting appropriate methodologies to guide the rationalisation of their collections. It identifies the main issues for museums to consider and provides information about tools and resources available to support the rationalisation procedure.
‘The museum must have an approved policy for developing collections (also known as an acquisition and disposal policy). The policy must include:
2.2.1 the statement of purpose
2.2.2 an overview of current collections
2.2.3 themes and priorities for future collecting
2.2.4 themes and priorities for rationalisation and disposal
2.2.5 information about the legal and ethical framework for acquisition and disposal of items.’
(Accreditation standard, October 2011)
This template from Arts Council England provides a Development Policy framework, which sets out the principles, standards and legislation for responsible and ethical acquisition (and disposal) of collections.
This resource from Arts Council England sets out the Accreditation requirements for section 2: Collections, and general guidance on how to achieve them. It is particularly useful if you are using the templates for a Collections Development Policy and need to refer to the guidance.
This publication details Scotland-specific guidelines for the care of human remains in museum collections including their care, associated ethics, display, use and issues around repatriation requests. It also includes comprehensive legal guidelines in a Scottish context.
This resource from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport outlines good practice guidance for museums acquiring and holding human remains from any period and aims to offer practical support in the care of human remains in museums.
The Museum Association Code of Ethics defines the ethical principles which guide museum practice and underpin policy and practice regarding the development of museum collections.
PAS 197 enables top-level management to take a strategic and integrated approach to collections management. It provides a blueprint for creating sustainable strategies that balance collections development, collections information, access to collections and collections care and conservation.