Collections Trust has an unbeatable grasp of the issues around managing museum collections – and putting digitised collections online. Our consultancy work is rooted in standards we helped to shape, with a commonsense approach to helping museums of all sizes put them into practice.

We are always happy to talk about possible opportunities and to consider invitations to tender. We work either as lead consultants or as specialist sub-contractors to other consulting firms, potentially anywhere in the world. Our input can range from a few days to longer-term assignments. We can also draw on a network of trusted associates when needed. Please contact Kevin Gosling if you have a project in mind and think we might be able to help.

Featured projects

Photography collections audit: Science Museum Group

We were commissioned to audit the photography collections across the Science Museum Group. We visited SMG’s five sites and quantified both the physical photographic material and the extent to which it had been digitised. The study also explored cataloguing practice and copyright across the various collections.

Working with the Collections Trust enabled the Science Museum Group to explore the exciting opportunities its vast photographic archives present and to plot the steps to large-scale digitisation of this material and its online publication.” John Stack, Digital Director.

Image: One of a group of photographs by Étienne Jules Marey showing phases of movement, c 1892. Science Museum Group Collection Online. © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London. CC-BY-NC-SA.

Digital cultural heritage survey: Ministry of Culture, Luxembourg

This detailed survey collected evidence to support strategic planning for digital cultural heritage in Luxembourg, identifying the technical and human infrastructure needed in the country’s eight state-funded cultural heritage institutions. The survey quantified and characterised the physical collections that, together with their associated documentation, are the raw materials of digitisation. It also provided a snapshot of digitisation and access to digital collections to date and planned over the short to medium term, together with discussion of key challenges and opportunities, and recommendations for action.

Image: View of Luxembourg City by JMW Turner, 1834. Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art. Public domain.

Brief for a new collections management system: Thackray Medical Museum

“Collections Trust helped us to understand the limitations of our existing collections management system and scope what we required for our specialist collections, presenting it in a comprehensive report. This gave us a framework, and an idea of the resources we needed to procure the ideal system. We then used it to help secure funding. The friendly staff were happy to clarify our queries as we created our procurement path. Thank you, Collections Trust.” Ali Bodley, heritage consultant.

Image: Courtesy of Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds.

Training Spectrum trainers in Poland: NIMOZ

In 2017, our Polish counterparts, NIMOZ, published a translation of Spectrum 4.0. To help roll out the standard, Collections Trust was commissioned to deliver a week of training for those museum professionals who would be training their colleagues across Poland.

We found the training very useful. It helped us to fully understand how Spectrum works. By the end of June 2018 we will have over 170 people trained. What is the most important – those are not only sessions organized by NIMOZ as a part of our training year, but also made on the initiative of museums (to train their curatorial staff) and our trainers themselves (for people from different museums in their towns or regions).” Alicja de Rosset, NIMOZ Chief expert for digitisation.

Other recent projects

  • Content development and delivery of the British Council’s International Museum Academy: Myanmar 2017
  • A review of the collections – and collections management procedures – at the historic Bevis Marks Synagogue, sub-contracted to consultants Barker Langham as part of a successful first round application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • Bespoke training for the new Seaside Heritage Network – two workshops on planning a collections review.