Friday, 21 November 2014 16:12

Museum Freecycle

freecycle-logoSince its conception in June 2014, Museum Freecycle has grown from strength to strength. There are now over 200 individual members of the group which ranges from the small independent museum to the large national museum.

Monday, 10 November 2014 11:02

Collections Trust Seminar - Manchester

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photo: Manchester seminarLast Thursday saw the Collections Trust team head to Manchester for the latest in our series of 'Collections Trust Seminars' - one-day workshops for museum professionals and volunteers to learn more about our work and how it can help them do more with their collections.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 08:40

Where next for Culture Grid?

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The Culture Grid ( was established in 2006 to promote the discovery and use of digital information being produced through museum, archive and library digitisation. Since then it has grown into a platform providing access to almost 3m unique records illustrating the breadth and depth of cultural heritage from nearly 130 partners across the UK.

In terms of scale, the Culture Grid has been a great success. It has also been a success in terms of the less visible aspects of aggregating large quantities of cultural heritage metadata. It has helped promote the use of standards, enabled Collections Managers to make the case for improving the quality of their metadata and provided opportunities for developers, hackers and makers to remix cultural information into prototypes and demonstrators.

Sunday, 28 September 2014 13:46

Resilience and Museums

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This article by Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole is based on a presentation on 'Resilient Things' given at the London Museums Group event on Thursday 18th September. The original slides can be viewed on this page or downloaded from

I first became aware of the use of the word 'resilient' in relation to museums about two years ago, when the Arts Council England started using it to describe the development of some of their strategic programmes. It occurred to me that while I had been broadly aware of resilience as a concept, I had never really considered what it actually meant, or more specifically what it should mean to museums.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 08:46

Celebrating the success of Europeana Inside

logo: EU-INSIDEThe Europeana Inside project formally comes to a close on September 30th 2014 and last Wednesday the Collections Trust held a launch event at the Museum of London for the ECK (Europeana Connection Kit) which has been created and developed through the project.

Friday, 19 September 2014 07:42

The problem with Value

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Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole explores the problems associated with quantifying the value and impact of culture and the arts.

Everybody, it seems, is at it. In academic schools and policy organisations, think tanks and Government departments, an army of people are busying themselves trying to establish the Unified Field Theory reconciling public investment of the arts and culture with the production of tangible and intangible forms of value.

For some time now, ever since the comprehensive and inconclusive report Measuring the Value of Culture: A Report to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (O'Brien, 2010), the UK's museum sector has been chasing the magic formula through which to express the social, economic and political impact and value of museums.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 14:10

SPECTRUM standard launched in Brazil

The team responsible for translating and localising SPECTRUM for BrazilMarcello Mattos Araujo, State Secretary of Culture for Sao Paulo in Brazil has announced the adoption of the SPECTRUM standard by Brazilian museums at an event this week attended by Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole.

Friday, 01 August 2014 07:20

COPE in action at Norfolk Museums Service

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image: Norfolk Museums Collections websiteNick Poole reflects on the launch of the new online collections website from Norfolk Museums Service, and the ways in which their long-term approach to documentation has enabled them to open up their collections for a new audience.

A cat in an old book. Please note that this cat is neither ALIVE nor DEAD, but FIGURATIVEThe Collections Trust is pleased to provide this standard guidance document on professional care, assessment, conservation and management of #MuseumCats. Using this guideline will ensure that cats in museums are managed in accordance with the requirements of the Museum Accreditation Scheme and, you know, common sense and stuff.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 14:14

A Visitor Centre fit for a King

image: Katie SmithThe Collections Trust's very own Katie Ann Smith recently visited the newly opened King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester. Here she tell us about her visit.

image: Jamie EverittCollections Trust CEO Nick Poole interviews Jamie Everitt, Collections Development Manager at Norfolk Museums Service and winner of the 2014 Collections Manager of the Year Award.

The new main hall at the Imperial War Museum, LondonCollections Trust CEO Nick Poole visits the new Imperial War Museum and discovers a story of warfare and the impact of war fit for a new generation.

image: JennyWebbIn this article Jenny Webb, winner of the Young Collections Professional of the Year 2014, gives us a brief insight into her career and offers some advice for aspiring collections professionals.

Monday, 07 July 2014 07:45

Should heritage digitisation be regulated?

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Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole considers the question of whether publicly-funded Digitisation should be regulated to ensure quality and long-term preservation of digital cultural heritage.

Last week, I had the opportunity to Chair a Working Group tasked with reviewing the excellent work of our good friends and colleagues at DEN - the Dutch agency responsible for advising professionals and policymakers on the Digital Agenda. On the group were a number of colleagues from different domains, each carefully selected for their knowledge and expertise.

image: EuropeanaStratOn 3 July 2014, Harry Verwayen, Deputy Director at Europeana announced the publication of the Europeana Strategy 2020  which sets out a new vision for how we can all help transform the world with culture through the Europeana community. Below is a transcript of his announcement.

image: Queen Alexandra Memorial, Marlborough Gate, LondonThe European Commission funded Partage Plus project, managed by the Collections Trust,  has now reached a successful conclusion after running for two years. The Partage Plus consortium comprised 25 different partner institutions, all of which shared the common aim to digitise Art Nouveau collections and make them accessible through Europeana.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:00

A simple way to promote your museum online

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Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole explores how museums might be able to publish simple information about themselves online so that other people can include them in applications and websites.

There's a wonderful moment with ideas, before the committees and the deep thinkers get hold of them, when they are simple and clear and easy-to-express. It is a beautiful moment of clarity about what could be achieved that usually comes just before things get considerably more complicated.

And so it is with a nice idea that has been doing the rounds of email lists and meetings about how museums could reach more people online by publishing a simple, structured set of information about themselves. So before things get complicated, I thought it would be useful to try and express the idea, simply and clearly in the idea of it. It's not my idea, so I invite anyone that has been involved in the discussion to correct my attempt at a definition.

The following is a joint statement issued by the Collections Trust and Axiell ALM, the UK archive, library and museum division of Axiell AB.

Axiell acquired Adlib Information Systems and Selago (producers of Mimsy) in 2013. These acquisitions build on existing relationships between the companies and represents an extension of Axiell’s ambition to develop globally competitive software solutions for museums, galleries, libraries and archives.

Monday, 05 May 2014 00:00

Collections Link is changing!

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Over the next 2 months, you are likely to notice some big changes in the Collections Link website. We are currently implementing a comprehensive upgrade and redesign of the website, bringing together the Collections Trust's own corporate site and Collections Link into a single coherent platform. Our aim is to be able to improve the service and experience we offer, making it simpler than ever for you to access our standards, best practice guidance and editorial content through a simplified platform. We really value the time you spend using the site, so we wanted to let you know what is happening and why, and also to ask you to send us your ideas for future improvements. 

Sunday, 27 April 2014 00:00

Closing the gap between Heritage and Research

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Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole explores the gap between HE/FE research and the practical needs of the heritage profession and how to find ways of reconciling the two.

Research into the management, preservation and digitisation of cultural heritage is big business in the UK. Evidence suggests that as many as 40 HE/FE institutions in the UK are currently supporting academic research in the field, The new Vision and Strategy of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) quotes a figure of more than £700m that has been made available for arts & humanities research since 2005 (not all of which is directed to heritage-related projects, obviously!), which has generated more than 16,400 'research outputs' over the same period.

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