Documentation planning – scope

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This procedure is more generic than many others. Its focus is on planning and managing any kind of documentation project: defining objectives; writing a plan; monitoring progress; and responding to any problems along the way.

If your organisation does not yet meet the minimum standard for the Inventory procedure, this should be the first priority addressed in your plan.

Not all documentation projects are ‘retrospective’ in the sense of recording information that should have been noted when objects were first acquired. Cataloguing, in particular, is an ongoing, open-ended process that is less daunting if treated as discrete research projects rather than a single ‘backlog’.

Planning improvements to your documentation should be done as part of your organisation’s wider forward-planning process. For example, the goal of putting collections images online might prompt a project to improve the copyright information needed to do this, or a planned exhibition might involve research that could enhance object records. As with forward planning, when you come to the end of one documentation plan, you should review your needs again, which may well lead to a new plan.

Date created: 2017

Author: Collections Trust

Publisher: Collections Trust