Empowering Collections - Museums Association

Empowering Collections

Collections provide an opportunity for reflection, learning, debate, creativity and participation for all. In order to support dynamic and empowering collections we need to work with communities and adopt a proactive approach to the democratisation and decolonisation of collections and support partnerships and knowledge sharing.

Level 1

  1. Understands how museums develop, manage, share, research and improve knowledge of collections.
  2. Understands that collections belong to communities.
  3. Understands the difference between co-production and co-curation.
  4. Understands the role collections play in wellbeing, placemaking and sense of belonging.
  5. Understands and applies professional policies and standards associated with collections management, for example Spectrum, MA Code of Ethics for Museums, Supporting Decolonisation in Museums guidance etc.

Level 2

  1. Ensures museums develop, manage, share, research and develop knowledge of collections.
  2. Ensures colleagues and communities share expertise, multiple perspectives and draws upon lived experiences.
  3. Adopts a proactive approach to democratisation and decolonisation.
  4. Works with museums, other organisations and communities to research and develop understanding about collections.
  5. Ensures up to date and accurate information and language is used to describe collections in workshops, databases and interpretation.

Level 3

  1. Implements regular consultation on how collections are researched, presented, and used, and applies this in practice.
  2. Builds and values knowledge through the exchange of ideas and understands that narratives have multiple perspectives and are not fixed.
  3. Delivers to the diverse needs of broad audiences for example in person and digital engagement with collections.
  4. Uses collections work to create social impact, and to involve communities in co-production and co-curation, creating long-lasting knowledge and institutional change.

Level 4

  1. Creates a culture where collections are accessible, shared, and prioritised.
  2. Develops collection strategies that prioritise partnerships with others for example communities.
  3. Fosters a culture where collections realise the potential for the planet and communities, for example climate justice.
  4. Develops and identifies shared outcomes through high levels of participation with communities and partners, locally, nationally, or internationally.

For more information about Empowering Collections, please visit our collections campaign, our ethics campaign and our decolonising museums campaign.