What is collection's management?

Put simply, collections management in cultural heritage is the ‘strategies, policies, processes and procedures related to collections development, information, access and care. [1]

Related concepts are:

Collections development:

‘collecting new items, research and reviewing the existing collection and removing items’ in accordance with the collecting organisation’s particular policies and priorities.';


collections care:

A ‘range of activities intended to safeguard the collection.

(These activities can include organisational policies, buildings, security, storage, cleaning, preservation, maintenance, handling, scientific investigation, environmental monitoring and control, exhibitions and loans, conservation, provision of surrogates and emergency preparedness and response planning.)’.

The great challenge in collections management lies in balancing the needs of access and preservation, of current and future generations, and of prevailing political, social, cultural, economic and environmental concerns.

The above definitions are adapted from those cited in Hillhouse, S., 2009, Collections Management: a practical guide, Collections Trust, London, pp 1-7

[1] Please note that some definitions of collections management do not contain all of these aspects
    Melanie Horder examines game
      Associate Melanie Horder examines
      a children's game in the Corporate
      Objects part of the Telstra Heritage
      Collection, Melbourne, Australia