MA publishes Empowering Collections report
Yosola Olorunshola, 04.04.19
A strategy for the future of collections
The Museums Association has launched Empowering Collections, a wide-ranging report identifying 11 recommendations for the future of collections.
Based on research from the Collections 2030 project, the report aims to equip museums to harness their collections for a social impact – making them more empowering, dynamic and relevant to communities and potential audiences.
An ambitious consultation process gathered responses from over 1,000 people across the museum sector, academia, funding bodies and community groups to shape the report. The result is a comprehensive publication that is intended to serve as a long-term, strategic guide for working with collections over the next decade.
“Collections are at the heart of our museums – and we want funders and policymakers to use these recommendations to make them fit for the next decade,” says Alistair Brown, the policy officer at the Museums Association.
The report also highlights case studies from around the UK to showcase the work that is already happening to transform collections, including:
• Rehousing the collection of the Science Museum Group, involving an extensive digitisation project.
• Rationalising the collection at Bridport Museum in collaboration with the local community, supported by the MA’s Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.
• Exploring decolonial futures through an AHRC-funded project, connecting museums in south-east England with counterparts in the countries or regions where colonial items originated.
• Curating a major contemporary art exhibition at Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales) in partnership with the Wallich, a Welsh homelessness charity.
At a time of often contentious debate on the future of collections, the report is designed to equip the whole workforce to uncover the stories contained in collections and release their social potential.
The publication was launched on 29 March 2019 at the MA Members Meeting in Wales (Cardiff Story Museum) with further launch events taking place at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh (3 April 2019) and The Grant Museum of Zoology, London (8 April 2019).
MA members are invited to the London launch on Monday 8 April 2019, 1800 – 2000 at The Grant Museum of Zoology. Please RSVP here to book your free place.
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