An introduction to museum documentation and the SPECTRUM standard

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Yorkshire Museum

Museum Street

York, United Kingdom

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This session will explore museum documentation, its importance and how it can be approached to benefit both the organisation and audience. Together, we will review the primary SPECTRUM procedures, identifying potential actions for your organisation:

  • Object entry
  • Acquisition
  • Location and movement control
  • Cataloguing
  • Object exit
  • Loans in
  • Loans out
  • Retrospective documentation


Have a question or comment about the SPECTRUM standard? Throughout 2016 Collections Trust have been working on a revised edition, following extensive consultation with the museum sector, to be published in spring 2017. 


Sarah Brown, Outreach Officer for Collections Trust, will introduce draft material from SPECTRUM 5.0; explaining changes and revisions, as an opportunity for attendees to give feedback and contribute to version 5 of the standard. For those new to SPECTRUM or in need of a refresher, this session will also explore the SPECTRUM standard within the context of Accreditation.


Delegates will be encouraged to participate through discussions and activities, and there will be plenty of opportunity for questions throughout, as well as feedback on the draft.


This session will be led by Sarah Brown, Outreach Officer for Collections Trust. Sarah joined Collections Trust in late April 2016.  Originally training as a conservator, Sarah has worked in a variety of collections management and care roles across the UK, including National Museums Scotland and Powell-Cotton Museum in Kent.


As part of Collections Trust’s Arts Council England funded Activity Plan, Sarah will be delivering around 100 events across the English regions, developed in collaboration with the ACE Museum Development teams. The programme will be varied, with themes and delivery approach responding to local needs, ranging from digitisation and copyright to documentation planning and backlogs.


Learning Objectives:

  • The role of Collections Trust
  • An overview of museum documentation
  • The SPECTRUM collections management standard within the context of Accreditation
  • Using and applying SPECTRUM within your organisation
  • Introducing changes and updates to the SPECTRUM standard


Who is the session for?

Staff and volunteers involved in collections management and museum documentation. Those new to the area or in need of a refresher.


Please note – we request that attendees bring examples of their organisation’s documentation; entry forms etc. and their procedural manual if appropriate – to review and discuss. 

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Yorkshire Museum

Museum Street

York, United Kingdom

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