Revised Spectrum guidance aims to move away from ‘gatekeeper’ mindset - Museums Association

Revised Spectrum guidance aims to move away from ‘gatekeeper’ mindset

Collections Trust hopes Spectrum 5.1 will encourage a more inclusive approach
Catalogue Collections

The Collections Trust has published Spectrum 5.1, the latest update to the UK’s collection management standard.

The new version of Spectrum features revised guidance for the Cataloguing and Use of Collections procedures, which aims to encourage a more inclusive and flexible approach.

A public consultation on the revisions found that, despite museums being keen to work more collaboratively with audiences, they often have a “gatekeeper mentality” regarding information about “their” collections.

“This in turn is a barrier to museums achieving Arts Council England’s (ACE) ‘creative people’ outcome,” said the trust.  

Spectrum 5.1 includes revised definitions and scopes for Cataloguing and Use of Collections, new policy questions and updates to suggested procedures including new guidance notes, for example, about documenting evolving documentation practice and dealing with catalogue records containing information that is inaccurate, harmful, or offensive. 

Sarah Brown, deputy director of the Collections Trust, said: “We believe that cataloguing should be an ongoing, inclusive, and flexible activity – and Spectrum 5.1 reflects this key message. Thank you again to everyone who responded to the consultation.”

The launch of the revised procedures will be supported by outreach events and discussions. 

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