Our approach

How we support museums and help increase knowledge of collections
We believe that what we know about collections is as important as the objects themselves.

We think that museums and their funders should invest more resources in developing and sharing collections knowledge.

We have been carrying out work to improve the way museums share their knowledge and skills since we carried out a consultation in 2008 with the sector to explore some of the key issues around collections knowledge.

The responses to the consultation suggested that many people who work in museums want to find ways to undertake more research, share knowledge more effectively and enable the next generation of specialists to develop in-depth collections knowledge.

The Museums Association (MA) wants to encourage people who work in museums to share their knowledge more effectively.

With funding from the Monument Trust from 2007 – 2012, and funding from Arts Council England, Museums Galleries Scotland and CyMAL in 2013, the MA ran the Monument Fellowships programme.

The scheme aimed to raise the profile of collections knowledge, to emphasise its importance, and to try out approaches to knowledge sharing that other museums might use and adapt. It has provided opportunities for retired specialists to share their knowledge with colleagues.

Links and downloads


Monument Fellowship programme


Consultation paper 2008 (pdf)

Consultation responses 2008 (pdf)

Guidance on how best to capture collections knowledge (pdf)