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Museum Documentation Today and Tomorrow

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Presentation to #museumkurs2013 in Trondheim, looking at what Documentation means to museums, why we do it and where the professional practice of Documentation is going.

Presentation to #museumkurs2013 in Trondheim, looking at what Documentation means to museums, why we do it and where the professional practice of Documentation is going.

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  • 1. Museum Documentation Today and Tomorrow (and possibly the day after that too...) Nick Poole CEO, Collections Trust
  • 2. Contents • Introduction • What is a collection anyway...? • How our organisations are changing • What is Documentation? • Trust and Trustability • Strategic Collections Management • SPECTRUM, COPE and the CRM • The future of Documentation • Further reading
  • 3. About the Collections Trust • Working with 23,000 museums in 18 countries worldwide – Connecting people with collections – Supporting professional development – Building digital capacity – Demonstrating the value of Collections Management • We want to help as many museums as possible give as many people as possible the chance to learn about themselves and the world around them.
  • 4. Discover Refine Manage Deliver Engage Improve Acquisition Strategic Planning Research Interpretation Collections Management Environmental Control Integrated Pest Management Integrated Risk Management Collections Development Disaster Planning & Resilience Conservation Loans & Mobility Exhibition Planning Digital Content Web/mobile Audience Engagement Strategic Marketing Outreach Education/ Learning Support Commerce/ retail Fundraising Business administration Key Performance Indicators Process improvement Cost reduction Collections Trust core competencies Digitisation Digital Asset Management Licensing/IPR Documentation The Collections Trust’s role
  • 5. What is a Collection? Physical Collections Physical Collections
  • 6. What is a Collection? Administrative Information Administrative Information Physical Collections Physical Collections
  • 7. What is a Collection? Administrative Information Administrative Information Collections- based Knowledge Collections- based Knowledge Physical Collections Physical Collections
  • 8. What is a Collection? Administrative Information Administrative Information Collections- based Knowledge Collections- based Knowledge Physical Collections Physical Collections NarrativesNarratives
  • 9. What is a Collection? Administrative Information Administrative Information Digital Assets Digital Assets Collections- based Knowledge Collections- based Knowledge Physical Collections Physical Collections NarrativesNarratives
  • 10. What is a Collection? Administrative Information Administrative Information Digital Assets Digital Assets Collections- based Knowledge Collections- based Knowledge Physical Collections Physical Collections NarrativesNarratives Physical surrogates (3D print) Physical surrogates (3D print)
  • 11. What is a Collection? Administrative Information Administrative Information Digital Assets Digital Assets Collections- based Knowledge Collections- based Knowledge Physical Collections Physical Collections NarrativesNarratives Physical surrogates (3D print) Physical surrogates (3D print) The nature of the material which society trusts us to collect, manage and care for has changed beyond all recognition... The nature of the material which society trusts us to collect, manage and care for has changed beyond all recognition...
  • 12. Our changing role... The role of museums has always been a balance between physical protection and facilitating access We’re replacing access with activism, relevance, engagement & participation To become relevant, the museum has to become responsive
  • 13. The ‘traditional’ museum... Most cultural organisations operate in ‘vertical’ silos Education Management Collections Retail IT
  • 14. The ‘responsive’ museum...
  • 15. It’s about finding the fastest, simplest way of giving people meaningful, emotional experiences Not about partitioning peoples lives, but about letting them express the kind of connection they want to make (including being left alone & not having to connect to anything!)
  • 16. What is Documentation? Documentation is the process by which we record a set of assertions about a given thing in our collections...
  • 17. What is Documentation?
  • 18. What is Documentation? What is it?What is it? Where is it?Where is it? What is it made of? What is it made of? Who owns it?Who owns it? Why do we have it? Why do we have it? What is it connected to? What is it connected to? Who collected it? Who collected it? Where was it found? Where was it found? How big is it?How big is it? How much is it worth? How much is it worth?
  • 19. What is Documentation? What is it?What is it? Where is it?Where is it? What is it made of? What is it made of? Who owns it?Who owns it? Why do we have it? Why do we have it? What is it connected to? What is it connected to? Who collected it? Who collected it? Where was it found? Where was it found? How big is it?How big is it? How much is it worth? How much is it worth? Why should I care? Why should I care? What does it mean? What does it mean? What story does it tell? What story does it tell? What is its context? What is its context? How do I relate to it? How do I relate to it? What makes it unique? What makes it unique? What does it help me understand? What does it help me understand? Is it ethical/ political/ moral? Is it ethical/ political/ moral?
  • 20. What is Documentation?
  • 21. What is Documentation?
  • 22. What is Documentation?
  • 23. What is Documentation?
  • 24. What is Documentation? Our visitors must be free to wander the paths we create, create their own, or tell us why a path is broken and should lead somewhere else...
  • 25. What is Documentation? The aim of documentation is not the creation of fixed points, but to facilitate the museum in reflecting the changing nature of knowledge & understanding about our collections.
  • 26. What is Documentation? In a connected world, knowledge flows freely between contexts and communities, becoming greater & more valuable as it travels.
  • 27. In the real world, museums remain among the most trusted civic institutions, more than banks, politicians, broadcasters, teachers and the church. In a world of hyper-connected information, trust is a currency Museums are rich in trust because of professionalism and accountability – which are expressed through Documentation, Conservation & Collections Management
  • 28. The critical transition.... FROM TO“I have status because I am a museum...” “I have status because I am a museum...” “I have status because of what I know, what I share and what I enable.” “I have status because of what I know, what I share and what I enable.”
  • 29. Strategic Collections Management • Not about practice for its own sake, but about designing an organisation that works well & works together • Making decisions based on the needs of the audience and the organisation • Ensuring effective management based on the right balance of skills, resources, systems and processes...
  • 30. UsersUsers PoliticsPolitics FundingFunding CultureCulture
  • 31. Organisation’s Mission StatementOrganisation’s Mission Statement UsersUsers PoliticsPolitics FundingFunding CultureCulture
  • 32. Organisation’s Mission StatementOrganisation’s Mission Statement Collections Management PolicyCollections Management Policy UsersUsers PoliticsPolitics FundingFunding CultureCulture
  • 33. Organisation’s Mission StatementOrganisation’s Mission Statement Collections Management PolicyCollections Management Policy CareCare UseUse LearnLearn DevelopDevelop UsersUsers PoliticsPolitics FundingFunding CultureCulture
  • 34. Organisation’s Mission StatementOrganisation’s Mission Statement Collections Management PolicyCollections Management Policy CareCare UseUse LearnLearn DevelopDevelop UsersUsers PoliticsPolitics FundingFunding CultureCulture PeoplePeople ProcessesProcesses SystemsSystems InfoInfo
  • 35. Organisation’s Mission StatementOrganisation’s Mission Statement Collections Management PolicyCollections Management Policy CareCare UseUse LearnLearn DevelopDevelop UsersUsers PoliticsPolitics FundingFunding CultureCulture PeoplePeople ProcessesProcesses SystemsSystems InfoInfo Evaluation & improvementEvaluation & improvement
  • 36. Organisation’s Mission StatementOrganisation’s Mission Statement Collections Management PolicyCollections Management Policy CareCare UseUse LearnLearn DevelopDevelop UsersUsers PoliticsPolitics FundingFunding CultureCulture PeoplePeople ProcessesProcesses SystemsSystems InfoInfo Evaluation & improvementEvaluation & improvement Rich, meaningful experiences for usersRich, meaningful experiences for users
  • 37. Organisation’s Mission StatementOrganisation’s Mission Statement Collections Management PolicyCollections Management Policy CareCare UseUse LearnLearn DevelopDevelop UsersUsers PoliticsPolitics FundingFunding CultureCulture PeoplePeople ProcessesProcesses SystemsSystems InfoInfo Evaluation & improvementEvaluation & improvement Rich, meaningful experiences for usersRich, meaningful experiences for users A continuous cycle of improvement, learning, review, planning and development A continuous cycle of improvement, learning, review, planning and development
  • 38. Organisation’s Mission StatementOrganisation’s Mission Statement Collections Management PolicyCollections Management Policy CareCare UseUse LearnLearn DevelopDevelop UsersUsers PoliticsPolitics FundingFunding CultureCulture PeoplePeople ProcessesProcesses SystemsSystems InfoInfo Evaluation & improvementEvaluation & improvement Rich, meaningful experiences for usersRich, meaningful experiences for users
  • 39. The core elements of SPECTRUM • SPECTRUM helps museums review their work with their collections, celebrate good practice and identify opportunities to improve! • SPECTRUM Standard including translations/ localisations, SPECTRUM Digital Asset Management, the SPECTRUM Schema and the Archive of previous versions of SPECTRUM • SPECTRUM Labs, including new ideas and potential applications of the SPECTRUM Standard • SPECTRUM Resources which support the application of the standard • SPECTRUM Community which includes anyone who uses the standard nationally or internationally
  • 40. STANDARD WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY (7,600) COMPLIANCE (23,000) GUIDANCE PDF/XML/PRINT + SCHEMA NEW IDEAS
  • 41. SPECTRUM Facts & Figures • 8,000 licensed users • 23,000 museums using SPECTRUM Compliant™ systems • 17 SPECTRUM Partner systems • Translations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Flanders, Germany • Active communities in the Nordic countries • Under development in Qatar and China
  • 42. http://standards.collectionslink.org.uk
  • 43. http://www.vocman.com/cultureGrid
  • 44. New ideas: Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE) • An object record is a nugget of digital content • Able to be re-flowed dynamically across platforms • Prepared for responsive design • Collections that are mobile, social and in the Cloud • “Get your content ready to travel anywhere, because it’s going to go everywhere” (thanks to Paul Rowe, Vernon Systems)!
  • 45. New ideas: Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE)
  • 46. SPECTRUM & the CIDOC CRM CIDOC CRM LIDO, ESE, ? Abstraction layer Collections management layer Data interchange layer By mapping up to CIDOC CRM from SPECTRUM, we can support COPE by supporting a richer & more future-proof data interchange layer
  • 47. ENTRY-LEVEL ACADEMIC MID-CAREER LEADERSHIP LEGACY CORE VALUES Integrity, accountability, openness, honesty, diversity, efficiency PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE Housekeeping, handling, packing Collections theory, research, documentation Environment, IPM, security, labelling etc. Strategic CM, Collections development Organisational knowledge transfer, research MANAGEMENT Time- management Project Management PPM, Risk, HR, Finance, Marketing Strategic planning, advocacy Continuity planning SUBJECT EXPERTISE Broad interest General subject focus Practice-based expertise Specialist academic knowledge Subject knowledge transfer SOFT SKILLS Mentoring, facilitation, negotiation, communication, networking Developing integrated skills
  • 48. The future of Documentation?
  • 49. There is a golden thread that connects the card-index cataloguing of the 1970’s with the world of linked open data Documentation is about much more than cataloguing objects, it is what allows those objects to tell and re-tell their stories In a connected world, it is the professionalism and accountability of our documentation & collections care which give us our trusted status
  • 50. Thankyou! www.collectionslink.org.uk/spectrum @NickPoole1 These slides online at http://www.slideshare.net/nickpoole