Future Collections


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Presentation to Leicester Museum Studies students about the current and future trends in Collections Management in museums, archives and libraries.

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Future Collections

  1. 1. The Future for Collections Nick Poole, Collections Trust 04.12.08
  2. 2. Curriculum Vitae Jobs: Chief Executive, Collections Trust Regional Policy Adviser, MLA National ICT Adviser, MLA Client Liaison, UBS Warburg Education: History & Philosophy of Science, UCL Fine Art Foundation, St Martins Languages, Cambridge
  3. 3. Synopsis... A new pragmatism A new balance A new Social Contract The death of Documentation The Digital Economy Shop culture
  4. 4. We can’t stop time | We acquired too much too fast | We are hoarding | The problem wasn’t money after all | Our core proposition is strong | A project culture is not the best way of achieving change | A performance culture is about ticking boxes | We can’t afford it... Welcome to the ‘austerity’ museum
  5. 5. The new balance... Once every 4-5 years, the pendulum swings between collections and access, conservation and learning, ‘front of house’ and ‘back office’. The new balance says that they are one and the same thing. It’s about creating integrated organisations. We have a dream...
  6. 6. A Service to Commemorate the passing of Museum Documentation 04.12.08
  7. 7. It’s no longer about specialism & databases... It’s about: • Understanding the connections • Managing programmes & resources • Taking people with you Collections Management gives you stability, confidence, creative freedom, the ability to be open with your Collections.
  8. 8. Technology has made publishers of us all The consumer expects to be able to plan a visit, look at a map... Every indication is that there is no demand for collections on the Web The age of Digitisation is at an end The age of projects and pilots and demonstrators will soon be at an end The Internet economy is built on search & advertising. Both require critical mass. We have to go where the people are.
  9. 9. How will your kids Consume culture? And their kids...? How will your kids consume culture?
  10. 10. The new economy is creating many strange new alliances. Where are the boundaries beyond which we stop being museums and start being something else? Can we continue to justify uneconomic behaviour on the basis that culture is an intrinsic public good? How do we feel about selling our brand, and putting the public trust in museums up to the highest bidder?
  11. 11. No matter what excites, interests or motivates you about working with museums, libraries or archives, if you don’t understand Collections Management, the interplay of disciplines and the underlying models of how these places work, you won’t achieve anything.
  12. 12. Our sector is changing fast... At stake is the opportunity to articulate a new kind of museums sector for a new kind of audience. Your opportunity is to build on 30 years of knowledge about how to create, manage and share collections so that they really can change peoples lives. Have fun!
  13. 13. We’re looking for a placement student! Nick Poole Chief Executive Collections Trust www.collectionstrust.org.uk www.collectionslink.org.uk www.openculture.collectionstrustblo gs.org.uk nick@collectionstrust.org.uk 01223 316 028