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The Evolution of Museums
 

The Evolution of Museums

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Presentation to the Leicester School of Museum Studies students as part of the Collections Trust's 'Collections Management' module

Presentation to the Leicester School of Museum Studies students as part of the Collections Trust's 'Collections Management' module

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    The Evolution of Museums The Evolution of Museums Presentation Transcript

    • The Evolution of MuseumsNick Poole, CEO, Collections Trust (@NickPoole1)
    • 2
    • My office is here….3
    • And I visit a lot of these…4
    • The Collections Trust is the international professional association forCollections ManagementWorking with and on behalf of our community, we promote excellence,innovation and engagement through the management & use of collections.
    • Welcome!The Collections Trust believes that workingwith you is the best way to test our ideas, toquestion them and to help shape the nextgeneration of practice.Our teaching is designed to:•Inspire you to see Collections Management as theenabler of anything you want to achieve in the museum•Give you the practical skills you will need in theworkplace•Encourage you to become an activist, or to keep going ifyou already are!
    • The Cultural ImperativeThe biggest challenges facing societywill only be addressed through “There are 4 things worth doingcollective action. with your life. Fix society. Fix health. Fix the economy. Fix the planet. Which one are you?” It is not enough for museums to begood, we must also do good, we haveto make a difference by inspiring andsupporting our communities in civicaction, encouraging them tounderstand the need for interpersonalresponsibility.The biggest single challenge facingmuseums worldwide isn’t funding, it’srelevance Jon Voss, We Are What We Do http://www.wearewhatwedo.org
    • The FARO ConventionThe best European document you’ve never heard ofEvery EU Member State (including the UK) agrees to:•Recognise that rights relating to cultural heritage are inherent in the right to participatein cultural life, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;•Recognise individual and collective responsibility towards cultural heritage;•Emphasise that the conservation of cultural heritage and its sustainable use have humandevelopment and quality of life as their goal;•Promote the role of cultural heritage in the construction of a peaceful and democraticsociety, and in the processes of sustainable development and the promotion of culturaldiversity
    • The Cultural CommonsCommons are resources that are held in common by a communityCommons cannot be commodified or ‘enclosed’The ownership of the commons is inclusive – the Commons grows through sharingCommons must be preserved regardless of their return of capital – all members ofthe community have a shared responsibility to pass on the Commons to eachgeneration ‘in equal or greater quality and abundance than we received them’.Commons is not anti-commerce, it is anti-enclosure. It actively promotescommercial business models where these are based on the addition of value, notthe prevention of use.
    • Why a Cultural Commons?It is time to re-write the terms of the contract between museums and societyThe crisis in museum funding in the UK (and elsewhere) is not about the value ofmuseums, it is a crisis in the advocacy of the public subsidy of museum services.The question is not ‘are museums a good and important thing?’, but ‘given thatwe have museums, what value does public subsidy add that the free marketcannot provide?’The free market does not promote universal equality of provision or equality ofaccess. We have to remind society both of the universal right to culturalengagement and the collective responsibility to preserve culture as a Commons.
    • Authority & the CommonsA Commons community (like Wikipedia) is a self-organising economy based onthe addition of value.The Commons is not antithetical to the idea of authority, but it is a system forassigning status based on authority, rather than authority based on status.The real threat of the Cultural Commons is not therefore that museums will notbe the holders of expertise, but that they will have to earn their position asauthorities.After this paradigm shift, we will wonder why we ever worried. Before it, it lookslike an existential threat to the foundation of the industry.
    • A global museum opportunityThe management and sharing of our material, digital and immaterial heritage asa Commons is the mission of our global community.This mission is naturally inclusive – bringing the museum and its publics togetherunder a common opportunity and a common obligation.Many of the debates in our sector, of technology, collecting, interpretation,copyright, reproduction and representation, social justice, social media,participation and engagement flow naturally from the principle of the Commons.“We could have a ceremony, each year, where the museum symbolically handson to the next generation the Cultural Commons in our care. We can be proud ofhaving handed it on, and in doing so, we can celebrate both the right to cultureand the responsibility we share to protect it.” National Museum Director(!)
    • “Think big, start small, move fast. But move” Mike Edson, Director of Web and New Media, Smithsonian Institution
    • The Participatory Museum takesthe idea of the Cultural Commonsand turns it into practice, in theprocess, unifying our existing skillsin learning, technology, collectionsand interpretation.This is about turning the museumfrom a broadcast to aconversation.
    • “How can cultural institutionsreconnect with the public anddemonstrate their value andrelevance in contemporary life? Ibelieve they can do this by invitingpeople to actively engage ascultural participants, not passiveconsumers.People expect the ability torespond and be taken seriously.They expect the ability to discuss,share, and remix what theyconsume. When people canactively participate with culturalinstitutions, those places becomecentral to cultural and communitylife.”
    • http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute
    • Making the change permanentMuseums are changing from the outside in, from becoming more open andparticipatory at their periphery to changing their core identity, values andbehaviours.It is only by changing the whole organism that the change will becomepermanent.This means changing the Mission, changing the procedures, changing thesystems and changing the skills we use to do the job.Our challenge is to re-tune every part of the museum so that participation isn’tjust skin-deep, bringing the past 30 years of modernisation, professionalisationand documentation into the next 30 years of openness, participation,engagement and relevance.
    • BSI PAS 197 BSI PAS 198 ACCREDITATION BENCHMARKSSTRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL COLLECTIONS MINIMUM COLLECTIONSPLANNING CONTROL MANAGEMENT STANDARDS CARE
    • BSI PAS 197 BSI PAS 198 ACCREDITATION BENCHMARKS STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL COLLECTIONS MINIMUM COLLECTIONS PLANNING CONTROL MANAGEMENT STANDARDS CAREThe edifice of professional standards is still essential, but instead of acting as the shield for ourprofessional authority, they, too must adapt proactively to promote engagement, participation and thefree, sustainable and incremental exchange of knowledge and ideas
    • BSI PAS 197 BSI PAS 198 ACCREDITATION BENCHMARKSPDF/XML/PRINT GUIDANCE + SCHEMA COMPLIANCE NEW IDEAS (23,000) WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY (7,600)
    • BSI PAS 197A ‘Code of Practice for Cultural Collections Management’ produced by the BSI,sponsored by the Collections TrustDefining Collections Management as the connection between mission anddelivery in museums, archives and librariesPromoting a common understanding of management processes across domainsDefining the terms we use everydayPromoting a culture of ongoing review and improvementThe defining document of ‘Strategic Collections Management’
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians Organisational Mission
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians Organisational Mission Collecting Policy
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians Organisational Mission Collecting Policy Care Learn Develop Use
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians Organisational Mission Collecting Policy Care Learn Develop Use People Systems Procedures Information
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians Organisational Mission Collecting Policy Care Learn Develop Use People Systems Procedures Information Evaluation & improvement
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians Organisational Mission Collecting Policy Care Learn Develop Use People Systems Procedures Information Evaluation & improvement  Open, participatory, seamlessly physical, digital, intellectual and emotional experiences for our users
    • The demand for participation…
    • Digital is dead, long live ‘engaged’ http://www.digitalengagementframework.com/ from MuseumNext!
    • Documentation to EngagementThere is a ‘golden thread’ that connects the cataloguing work we did in the1970’s with the future of a digitally engaged, socially-active and responsivemuseum.The reason why we are able to open up our knowledge is because of thestructures that were established in the 1970’s and 1980’sNothing about what is happening now is revolutionary – it represents a linearevolution of the museum from the Victorian era to the Connected Age
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians Organisational Mission Collecting Policy Care Learn Develop Use People Systems Procedures Information Evaluation & improvement  Open, participatory, seamlessly physical, digital, intellectual and emotional experiences for our users
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians Organisational Mission Collecting Policy Care Learn Develop Use People Systems Procedures Information Evaluation & improvement  Open, participatory, seamlessly physical, digital, intellectual and emotional experiences for our users
    • Our strategic DNA….
    • Some museum Missions…
    • The Museum works to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, timeand the stars and their relationship with peopleThe Museums responsibilities are to safeguard and enhance the value of its pre-eminent assets: its collections, its expertise, its buildings. The Museums objectivesare to spread the benefits of these assets by:•Maximizing access and inspiration for all users•Satisfying stakeholders, locally, nationally and internationally•Effective organization and sound financial management
    • The Museum works to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, timeand the stars and their relationship with peopleThe Museums responsibilities are to safeguard and enhance the value of its pre-eminent assets: its collections, its expertise, its buildings. The Museums objectivesare to spread the benefits of these assets by:•Maximizing access and inspiration for all users•Satisfying stakeholders, locally, nationally and internationally•Effective organization and sound financial management Royal Museums Greenwich, National Maritime Museum
    • The Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge.
    • The Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge. Smithsonian Institution, Washington
    • To be the best museum in the world for inspiring people to learn about, engage withand create media.
    • To be the best museum in the world for inspiring people to learn about, engage withand create media. National Media Museum, Bradford
    • The greatest collection representative of human cultural achievement, ancient andmodern, in the world.A space ‘not only for the ‘learned and curious’ but also ‘for the benefit of the generalpublic’ – a centre of research and inquiry at all levels.A collection preserved and held for the benefit of all the world, present and future, freeof charge.A forum for the expression of many different cultural perspectives.A place to increase understanding of the cultural connections and influences linkingBritain and the world.A place where the UK’s diverse population can explore its common inheritances.
    • The greatest collection representative of human cultural achievement, ancient andmodern, in the world.A space ‘not only for the ‘learned and curious’ but also ‘for the benefit of the generalpublic’ – a centre of research and inquiry at all levels.A collection preserved and held for the benefit of all the world, present and future, freeof charge.A forum for the expression of many different cultural perspectives.A place to increase understanding of the cultural connections and influences linkingBritain and the world.A place where the UK’s diverse population can explore its common inheritances. The British Museum
    • The Museum MissionA museum’s Mission Statement defines, in a subtle but absolutely pervasiveway, the culture and priorities of the organisation.Most people spend their working lives in museums largely ignorant of themission but absolutely steeped in the culture that it generates.A socially-activist Mission produces a socially-engaged museum – see WorldMuseums Liverpool, Brooklyn Museum or the Museum of East Anglian Life.A self-serving Mission produces a self-serving museum.The days of the self-serving museum are over.
    • ENTRY-LEVEL ACADEMIC MID-CAREER LEADERSHIP LEGACYCORE VALUES Integrity, accountability, openness, honesty, diversity, efficiency Organisational Collections Environment, Strategic CM,PROFESSIONAL Housekeeping, knowledge theory, research, IPM, security, CollectionsPRACTICE handling, packing transfer, documentation labelling etc. development research PPM, Risk, HR, Strategic Time- Project ContinuityMANAGEMENT Finance, planning, management Management planning Marketing advocacy Specialist SubjectSUBJECT General subject Practice-based Broad interest academic knowledgeEXPERTISE focus expertise knowledge transferSOFT SKILLS Mentoring, facilitation, negotiation, communication, networking
    • ‘Strategic Collections Management’ Users Funders Politicians Organisational Mission Collecting Policy Care Learn Develop Use People Systems Procedures Information Evaluation & improvement  Open, participatory, seamlessly physical, digital, intellectual and emotional experiences for our users
    • The new Collections ManagementCollections Management is political.It can promote and protect inertia – enabling themuseum to remain morally silent by appealing to theobjectivity of rules, procedures and data structures.Or, it can power and embed change, enabling us tomake good on the promise of our socially-activist,participatory museum (and making the changepermanent and incremental).Collections Management is ultimately a set of tools.You can decide whether you use them to build atemple or an agora.
    • Over to you…
    • Congratulations!You are the new Head of Collections at an accreditedmuseum of your choice.You are tasked with creating and implementing anew collections development policy which respondsto your organisational vision and mission, serves theneeds of your users, and complements yourmuseum’s other collections management policies.
    • Your CollectionYour collection is a typical local authority collection,reflecting the social history, archaeology and naturalhistory of the area.It also includes a decorative and fine art collection,which has a wider geographical and thematic focus.The objects listed in your Leicester Arts and MuseumLoan are broadly representative of your museum’scollection.
    • Group exercise1. Describe your museum, its vision and mission, its users, its staff and its organisational structure.(Handy hint: think of museums you admire, look at their vision and mission, think how this translates into what you want to do and the skills you’ll need to do it)
    • Group exercise2. Using PAS 197:• Define and illustrate your museum’s collections development framework• Scope your new collections development policy, defining its structure and content.
    • Group exercise3. Plan the implementation of your policy. You are going to ensure that it is a) endorsed by your senior management team and b) adopted by all museum staff.
    • Group exercise4. Be prepared to discuss your museum’s collections development framework and your approach to your collections development policy at the final Collections Trust session on the afternoon of Friday 14th December.
    • Thinking out loud since 2008….
    • Like a self-help group forCollections Management geeks…
    • Looking forward to speaking again via Skype on the 10 th December!Nick PooleChief Executive, Collections Trustnick@collectionstrust.org.ukhttp://www.slideshare.net/nickpooletwitter @NickPoole1