Disposals – livestream Q&A

Social History Curators Group logoIn association with the Social History Curators Group, this live panel event will discuss rationalisation within a social history context and answer your questions about disposals.

It will be streamed live via the Collections Trust YouTube channel on Friday 15 May from 11:00 BST. If you can’t join us live, you’ll be able to catch up with the video after the event.

Submission for questions has now closed – thank you.

The panel

  • Sarah Brown – Outreach Officer, Collections Trust, will be chairing the panel.
  • Helen Taylor – Collections Manager, Black Country Living Museum, has eight years’ experience of working in an independent living museum with a variety of objects. She is very interested in making disposals less taboo and part of a normal museum process.
  • Rosalyn Skylar – Rosalyn has come across objects, even entire collections, that are underused and don’t represent the museum’s collecting policy at every institution she’s worked for. She knows there are many good reasons not to tackle rationalisation and disposal projects (including lack of time, lack of institutional support, fear and uncertainty), but her experience tells her that in order to really focus on, and invest in, your core collections it is important to be able to define what you want and who you are as an institution. An important part of this process is being able to let go of what you don’t want.
  • Sarah Briggs – Collections Development Officer, Museums Association, is co-author of the Empowering Collections report and works with the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, which frequently funds collections reviews and rationalisation. She has over a decade of experience working with museum collections, from archaeology to zoology, including practical disposal experience.
  • Dr Jennie Morgan – Lecturer in Heritage, University of Stirling, is also Programme Director for the university’s MSc Heritage. Her research and teaching focuses on the practice and theory of contemporary museums, particularly collecting, curating and institutional change. Her most recent research was on the Profusion-theme of the AHRC-funded Heritage Futures project, where she looked at what social history museums and people in their own homes keep for the future.

This event is based on a Social History Curators Group disposals seminar that was originally scheduled for March 2020.