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Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh
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Collections Review Seminar Perth - Stockport Museum Service Case Study - Katie Cavanagh

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  • Decision to review the collections is mainly down to these four elements. They’re all equally important as one another – listed in the order in which they happened. I’ll go in to more detail for each one, but briefly they are: A change in staff Different projects we were working on at the time Forced collections move Increased use of the collections and the issues this raised. All these factors forced us to ask what do we have, what haven’t we got, why do we have it and the cost and space implications for objects or collections of objects that were currently being held.
  • This kickstarted the whole process in 2001 Whole Curatorial team had left and it was basically starting from scratch again - which in some respects was frightening…but it provided a great opportunity to harness previous knowledge and experience of the new members of staff Even more importantly than that – there was no baggage to cause any hindrance, it was a totally fresh approach, we had nothing to be answerable for and were just given a blank canvas of a store and a lot of stuff to sort out I think that for us at Stockport was a great opportunity to sit down and look at what we had to work with and think of different ways to improve it. This enabled us to be extremely objective about the collections and quite brutal with decisions that we made. We started disposing of objects quite early on
  • When the new Curatorial team started in 2001 there were two major projects which were being worked on. Staircase House was pretty straightforward as a project. It is an historic house with room settings from different historic periods. But Stockport Story Museum was more challenging. This is the local history museum which draws mainly on the Social History collections spanning from Palaeolithic to present day Stockport. I’m sure anyone who has worked on the redisplay of galleries or new museum projects already knows that the collections undergo a ruthless search in order to find suitable items and this highlighted a number of collections management issues which needed to be addressed, ranging from duplicates we had in the collections to damaged items which were being stored.
  • Whilst everyone was frantically working to open the new local history museum – Stockport Story Museum, a rather ill judged decision was made to move the collections from their current storage in a 19 th century hall to somewhere new. At the time I was rather unimpressed with this decision, I have to say, but with hindsight, this provided a great opportunity that forced our hand to review absolutely everything and make some difficult decisions. As much as it was a curse, it was really a blessing!
  • As a result of the expanding museum service and the increase in schools and outreach projects, there were more opportunities for the collections to be used. This increased use of the collections lent itself to reviewing the collections. Most importantly this highlighted significant gaps in our collecting policy and identified objects and specific collections which were suitable for transfer to handling collections or for disposal.
  • As a result of the expanding museum service and the increase in schools and outreach projects, there were more opportunities for the collections to be used. This increased use of the collections lent itself to reviewing the collections. Most importantly this highlighted significant gaps in our collecting policy and identified objects and specific collections which were suitable for transfer to handling collections or for disposal.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Katie Cavanagh Collections Officer Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
    • 2. Stockport’s Museums <ul><li>Stockport Story Museum – Social History </li></ul><ul><li>Staircase House – Historic House </li></ul><ul><li>Bramall Hall – Historic House </li></ul><ul><li>Chadkirk Chapel – Historic Chapel </li></ul><ul><li>Stockport Art Gallery </li></ul><ul><li>Air Raid Shelters </li></ul><ul><li>Vernon Park Museum and Park </li></ul><ul><li>Hat Works – Museum of Hatting and Headwear </li></ul>
    • 3. Stockport’s Museum Collections <ul><li>Social History </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial History and machinery </li></ul><ul><li>Fine and Decorative Art </li></ul><ul><li>Costume </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Archaeology and Ethnography </li></ul><ul><li>Hatting and Headwear </li></ul>
    • 4. Factors Influencing Review of Collections <ul><li>New Curatorial Team </li></ul><ul><li>Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Collections Store move </li></ul><ul><li>Inventory of collections </li></ul><ul><li>Increased use of collections </li></ul>
    • 5. New Curatorial Team <ul><li>Knowledge and experience </li></ul><ul><li>No baggage </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh approach </li></ul>
    • 6. Projects <ul><li>Opening of Staircase House – 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>An historic house with room settings </li></ul><ul><li>Opening of Stockport Story Museum – 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Local history museum </li></ul>
    • 7. Collections Store Move From To
    • 8. Inventory of Collections <ul><li>Systematic inventory – box by box </li></ul><ul><li>Entry of information onto collections database </li></ul><ul><li>Increased access to collections </li></ul>
    • 9. Use of Collections <ul><li>Temporary Exhibition spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Active Education programme </li></ul><ul><li>Increased outreach and informal learning workshops </li></ul>
    • 10. Methodology <ul><li>Categorisation of objects: </li></ul><ul><li>Entry backlog </li></ul><ul><li>Unknown provenance objects </li></ul><ul><li>Accessioned objects </li></ul>
    • 11. Methodology <ul><li>Report to Council Committee: </li></ul><ul><li>Short report </li></ul><ul><li>Detailing areas in need of attention </li></ul><ul><li>Information on how review is being carried out </li></ul>
    • 12. Methodology <ul><li>Procedures for backlog items: </li></ul><ul><li>Letter to donor </li></ul><ul><li>Consent form for accessioning, transfer, handling or disposal </li></ul><ul><li>Regular decision making meetings </li></ul>
    • 13. Methodology <ul><li>Criteria for disposal: </li></ul>Outside collecting policy or not suitable for the collections.
    • 14. Methodology <ul><li>Criteria for disposal: </li></ul>Not suitable for handling collections
    • 15. Methodology <ul><li>Criteria for disposal: </li></ul>Poses a threat to the collections
    • 16. Methodology <ul><li>Criteria for disposal: </li></ul>Poses a Health & Safety risk
    • 17. Methodology <ul><li>Criteria for disposal: </li></ul>Is a duplicate
    • 18. Methodology <ul><li>Criteria for disposal: </li></ul>Beyond reasonable repair
    • 19. Methodology <ul><li>Procedures for disposal: </li></ul><ul><li>Follow SPECTRUM procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Photograph everything </li></ul><ul><li>Document it to within an inch of its life </li></ul>
    • 20. Methodology <ul><li>Transparency of decision making: </li></ul><ul><li>Be open about what you’re doing and why </li></ul><ul><li>Involve Councillors, Executive Members and senior management </li></ul><ul><li>Produce regular updates </li></ul>
    • 21. Outcomes <ul><li>Improved collections care </li></ul><ul><li>Refined Acquisition and Disposal policy </li></ul><ul><li>Improved handling collections </li></ul><ul><li>Good relations with Councillors and Executive Members </li></ul><ul><li>Valuing new members of staff </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciation of procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Rationalisation / disposal of objects </li></ul>
    • 22. Outcomes Objects disposed of:

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