Resources for small museums and historic sites
The California State Parks system has a comprehensive Scope of Collections Statement.
If you are looking to digitize your collection, check out this booklet for a few tips on how to plan and execute the move (PDF).
The American Alliance of Museums offers a complete guide on Developing a Collections Management Policy.
For examples of collections policies, check out the State of Delaware Department of Historical and Cultural Affairs Collections Policy (PDF), the collections policy (HTML) of Aurora Regional Fire Museum in Aurora, IL, the collections plan (PDF) for the Hale-Byrnes House, operated by the Delaware Society for the Preservation of Antiquities, in Newark, DE, and the collection development policy (HTML) for Michigan State University Museum’s Great Lakes Quilt Center.
This source from the Museum & Galleries NSW is a template of a collections policy (PDF), including explanations of the different elements of a policy, examples, and useful fill-in-the-blank sections. Although it was created in Australia, it is still a useful starting point for a small museum collection policy.
“Deaccession and Disposal for Small Museums” is a fact sheet published by Museums & Galleries of New South Wales. The best thing about this is the diagram of the process that you can use to guide the process of removing inappropriate collections items from your own organization.
Here are some templates of accession forms (PDF) from the Illinois State Museum. Included are catalog, condition report, deed of gift, and donor questionnaire forms that cover a range of materials to assure that you receive legal, provenance, and condition information about an object as it enters your collection.
This cataloging manual for small museums by Museums Australia, has a terrific outline of considerations and procedures for cataloging collections (PDF).
PastPerfect is the leading software for museums. The PastPerfect Software website provides software user guides as well as free webinars to show you how to get the most out of the software. Training CDs will also be available through our Media & Collections Care Lending Library.
CoOL is a website dedicated to providing online resources for conservators, collection care specialists, and other professionals whose work touches on caring for collections. The Cons DistList and ConsDir form a forum open to conservators, librarians, archivists, and the like. To sign up for ConsDir, send a one-line e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org that reads: “subscribe consdist YourFirstName YourLastName”