What a collection plan is not:
- stone tables
- stand alone
- 100 pages with which you can
beat someone to death
• 5 Priorities for
• 6 Co-operation
• 2 Description of
• 3 Current
profile of the
• 4 Users en
• 1 Aim, context,
Six Easy Pieces
(1) Aim, context, scope collection plan
• Context of the plan (internal and external environment analysis)
• Organization Context: existing plans? Eg. policy plan (city, state, organizing body ...)
• Policy context: Cultural Heritage Decree, other decrees (education), local policy
frameworks, local policy frameworks?
• Environment context: social developments and trends
• Objective (s) of the plan
• what do you want to achieve, change, for whom?
• Do your own goals fit in the objective and mission of the bigger organization?
• Scope of the plan
• Which collections (heritage scope), services ...?
• Period (from / to) plan?
• For who is the plan for? (Communication)
(2) Description of the collection
• origin and positioning of the collection
• Description parts of the collection
• material types (printed publications, archives, objects, AV-material, ...),
thematic ... (physical/digital/digital-born)
• figures of size/growth of the collection
• physical condition (condition, storage conditions)
• status of the collection registration, digitization, digital access
• Assesing the significance of the collection (appraisal)
• framework for appraisal of ‘heritage’ in development (e.g. Significance
(3) Description current collection profile
• Collection classification (current profile of the collection)
• what are the ‘centers of gravity’ of the collections (core collections)
• gaps in the collection?
• Critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the collection development
• adjustment of the selection and acquisition policy?
• disposal of collections?
(4) Users and services
• Who are the users?
• user research
• What is the use of the (digital) collections?
• Evolution (number) consultations, loans ...
• How is the service? (evaluation)
• Valorisation of the (digital) collection
• education, information, research, education, leisure, health and
• exhibitions, publications, social projects, outreach, ...
(5) Priorities collection policy
Formulate on the basis of steps 1, 2, 3 and 4:
• Priorities and targets for the future collection policy
• where we want to be x years and why? What has to change, etc.
• The actions to achieve these targets
• Acquisition Policy (criteria (de-)selection, forms of acquisition ...)
• Registration and digitization
• Preservation, preventive conservation
• Sustainable access (e.g. digital reading)
• Development of the services
• Assessing the resources for these actions
(6) Cooperation around collection policy
• Positioning and cooperation
• (International) networks, consultation platforms (ICOM, IFLA, …)
• (Cultural) partners (local, regional, international ...)
• With whom to cooperate? For what actions? How?
• Collection policy coordination with other holders of medical collections
• Agreements on acquisition, selection and collection policy
• Agreements on custody
• Agreements on digitization, (born) digital collections
The process towards a
collection plan is even
more important than the
plan in itself.