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101 Introduction to Museum Documentation Part 1

CIDOC Training Program "Summer School"
Museum of Texas Tech University, 2012
Presented by Nick Crofts

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101 Introduction to Museum Documentation Part 1

  1. 1. 101 Introduction to Museum documentation Nick Crofts Chair ICOM/CIDOC Lubbock, Texas, May 2012 CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  2. 2. Audience This course is intended for:People interested in Museum documentation People who will use or develop CIDOC training materials CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  3. 3. Course Prerequisites There are no formal prerequisites CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  4. 4. Agenda • Learn something about CIDOC, MTTU and the Summer School programme • Understand the ethical, legal and practical necessity for good documentation • Grasp the full scope of museum documentation • Examine some documentation issues in detail • Learn how a documentation plan can help address documentation issues CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  5. 5. Objectives • Learn something about CIDOC, MTTU and the Summer School programme • Understand the ethical, legal and practical necessity for good documentation • Grasp the full scope of museum documentation • Examine some documentation issues in detail • Learn how a documentation plan can help address documentation issues CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  6. 6. A word about CIDOC • Comité International pour la DOCumentation • Formed in 1950. One of ICOM's 31 International Committees • 550 members from 70 countries • A forum for exchange of ideas: • Annual meeting, newsletter, mailing list, website,working groups • Publishes recommendations, standards, guidelines • Organises the CIDOC Summer School training programme in partnership with MTTU CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  7. 7. Museum of Texas Tech. University • Founded in 1929 • CIDOC's academic partner • MA in Museum Science, 1974 • Specialisation in Heritage Management, 2003 • University teaching facilities and a working museum • Joint faculty and museum staff CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  8. 8. CIDOC Summer School • A comprehensive programme • Modular – basic and advanced topics • CIDOC certificate of competence • Supported by ICOM, UNESCO • Organised annually in English/French/Spanish • Economically attractive CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  9. 9. Agenda • Learn something about CIDOC, MTTU and the Summer School programme • Understand the ethical, legal and practical necessity for good documentation • Grasp the full scope of museum documentation • Examine some documentation issues in detail • Learn how a documentation plan can help address documentation issues CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  10. 10. The need for documentation “CIDOC believes that collections without adequate documentation cannot be considered to be true museum collections. This is because: • they cannot be adequately safeguarded and cared for • the museum cannot demonstrate legal accountability • their value for research and interpretation is greatly reduced” CIDOC Principles of Documentation, 2009 CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  11. 11. Practical benefits of good documentation 1. Evidence of ownership 2. Information about each object's history 3. Unique identification of each object 4. Ease of location 5. Access to descriptions which help with the recovery of stolen objects 6. Control over intellectual property rights issues 7. Access to research and publications relating to the collection 8. Supporting information about themes of relevance to the collection 9. Material for educational purposes and exhibitions 10.Guidance on procedures and decision-making 11.A full audit trail of work done on the collections 12.Information about alienated objects CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  12. 12. Agenda • Learn something about CIDOC, MTTU and the Summer School programme • Understand the ethical, legal and practical necessity for good documentation • Grasp the full scope of museum documentation • Examine some documentation issues in detail • Learn how a documentation plan can help address documentation issues CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  13. 13. Documentation and inventory "The Inventory of the collections is needed primarily for collections management. It forms an essential component of a museum’s documentation system." Spectrum, Collections Trust « recenser, étudier, faire connaître toute œuvre qui, du fait de son caractère artistique, historique ou archéologique, constitue un élément du patrimoine national, dans un contexte de recherche scientifique pure, excluant toute préoccupation d’ordre administratif ou fiscal» André Malraux, 1964 Mission de l'Inventaire Général des Monuments et des Richesses Artistiques de la France CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009
  14. 14. What is museum documentation? • Find the definition of “documentation” in Key Concepts of Museology • “Museum collections have always appeared relevant provided that they are defined in relation to the accompanying documentation...” p 28 • “The term museologist can be applied to researchers studying the specific relationship between man and reality, characterised as the documentation of the real by direct sensory perception.” p 68 • Propose a definition... CIDOC presentation © CIDOC 2009

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