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20080313 Spectrum In Our Veins

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  • 1. SPECTRUM? It’s in our veins... Why, how – and what happened next Alice Grant SPECTRUM-N Launch March 2008
  • 2. Why was SPECTRUM developed?
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    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>AG - Introduction
    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>
    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>What is SPECTRUM - Procedures & information requirements
    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>
    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>Why was it needed?
    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>
    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>How did it come to be - Brief history
    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>
    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>Consensus & community responsibility
    • <:#288,9360><:f,2CG Times (W1),>
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  • 3. Why was SPECTRUM developed?
    • To address real needs and to solve real problems
    • To save time spent re-inventing the wheel
    • To help museums prepare for the digital age
    • To document best practice
    • To establish a system-neutral way of working
    • To help museums work together and share knowledge
    • Problems shared, problems solved
  • 4. How was SPECTRUM developed?
    • Collectively
      • SPECTRUM needed to build on what people knew
      • SPECTRUM’s developers would become its users
      • Over 70 people involved from over 50 museums
    • Pragmatically
      • Focus on a usable deliverable in a short timescale
      • Reflect real-life issues in real museums
    • Inclusively
      • Practical approach, with the Minimum Standards an achievable goal for all
      • Allow different museums work in different ways - needed to avoid giving anyone an excuse not to use it!
    • Realistically
      • Perfection was never going to be achieved
      • SPECTRUM would be a process, added to and refined over time
  • 5. Field testing
    • 25 museums
    • Across the UK in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
    • National museums, volunteer museums, independent museums, local museums...
    • Archaeology, Art, Geology, Local history, Natural history, Science...
  • 6. Field testing across the UK
  • 7. Field testing...in Orkney...in December...
  • 8. The outcome
    • A consensus
    • A shared understanding
    • A means of sharing experience and expertise
    • A product which works for all types of museum
    • A product which exists in the real world – not just in theory
    • A professional benchmark and identity for collections management and documentation
    • Integrated into systems and standards
      • Embedded into recording systems
      • Systems accreditation
      • Museum accreditation
  • 9. Need a new collections system?
    • We know it’s going to support SPECTRUM.
    • No need to write out every last requirement
    • You can be confident that data will be supported
    • Users will be familiar with what’s on screen
    • Suppliers can concentrate on your museum’s specific needs
    • The LASSI project
      • 1994-1996
      • Procured a system for large UK museums
      • SPECTRUM an essential foundation
      • the basis for functional and data requirements
  • 10. Need to know your museum’s working well?
    • SPECTRUM provides a checklist of the policies which should be in place
    • The Minimum Standards provide a benchmark for our collections operations
    • We can demonstrate our efficiency to funders and governing bodies
    • Staff have a clear understanding of what is expected in key areas of work
  • 11. Need a procedures manual?
    • SPECTRUM sets out the scope and provides the detail required
    • We can pick the procedures we need to document and implement
    • No need to write it all out from the beginning
    • Copy, paste and add our own local information
    • Save time when rolling out new systems or starting large projects
  • 12. ...and the list goes on...
    • Hiring staff?
      • Check they’re familiar with SPECTRUM
      • SPECTRUM is now taught in universities
    • Training staff?
      • Use SPECTRUM as a template for what staff need to know
    • Got a documentation backlog?
      • Use SPECTRUM to tackle the project effectively
    • Applying for funding?
      • Use SPECTRUM to demonstrate need and your ability to do the job well
    • Persuading your director you need more staff?
      • Use SPECTRUM to explain why it’s important!
  • 13. A home for new initiatives
    • SPECTRUM Online and updates allow for expansion
    • Revisiting Collections
      • ‘ Non-traditional’ museum information
      • Information gathered from people outside the museum
      • Personal responses, new cultural perspectives
  • 14. SPECTRUM – in my veins…
    • … an integral part of over 100 of my projects alone
    • St. Paul’s Cathedral
      • Inventory and audit procedures used for the Cathedral’s collections
      • SPECTRUM’s Minimum standards used as a baseline for the procedures
      • Time and money saved as a result
      • Staff effort focused on most important information
      • Emphasised need to link documentation with objects, reassuring governing body.
    • Western Isles
      • Collections management strategy across Outer Hebridean islands
      • Minimum standards able to apply to small ‘Comainn Eachdraidh’ or local history societies with varying expertise and experience
      • Supported museum in coordination role.
  • 15. … and at the heart of everything I do
    • Manchester Art Gallery & New Art Gallery, Walsall
      • Documentation and access reviews
      • Provided a benchmark for comparison
      • Identifying issues for the Galleries to address
      • Able to advise on prioritising work and directing funding
    • Imperial War Museum, London
      • Specifying and purchasing a new system
        • Using SPECTRUM as the basis for requirements
        • ‘ Must comply with SPECTRUM’ saves a lot of writing!
      • Data preparation
        • 150+ databases
        • SPECTRUM provides a common point of reference for combining databases and identifying ‘new’ data requirements for media collections
        • Knowledge that new system is SPECTRUM-compliant ensures future interoperability
      • Collections management
        • SPECTRUM enables change management - procedures agreed by peers
        • Able to use procedures as basis for new documentation instructions for staff
  • 16. And that’s why...
  • 17. I SPECTRUM! And that’s why...

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