MLA’s Designation Scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held in England's non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance. These inspiring collections represent a vital part of our national cultural and artistic heritage. A full set of information about the Designation Scheme, including guidance for applicants and details of the Designation Development Fund is available from the MLA website.
How the Scheme benefits England's cultural heritage:
Identifies nationally significant cultural assets in museums, libraries and archives and builds a strong understanding of our shared heritage
Reveals the strengths of England's leading collections described by geographic area, subject and quality
Guards against the neglect or disposal of the nation's treasures
Helps to ensure that funding can be directed rationally
Identification of Designated collections brings many benefits to individual organisations, including:
Strengthened support from their governing bodies
Enhanced ability to raise funds to support the collection
Added profile-raising at national level through MLA's promotional materials and press coverage
The creation of a focus for advocacy and awareness-raising
The Scheme also sets out to raise standards across the sector. Designated collections recognised by the Scheme are expected to work towards the provision of high quality services, which deliver the fullest possible access to their collections. Those in the Scheme are expected to help other institutions by sharing expertise, offering advice or lending objects or material. In wider terms, the promotion of Designation also gives a strong and important message that many of the richest museum, library and archive collections in the country are not necessarily held in National organisations.
Any non-national institution may apply for Designation of all, or an identifiable part, of its museum, archive or library collections. Applications for Designated status are considered by a Panel composed of senior members of the museum, library and archive professions. Panel meetings are held twice a year, normally in January and July.
This toolkit provides resources for museums with Designated Collections when promoting their status. It includes checklists and template Press Releases as well as a range of useful guidance.
MLA’s Designation Scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held in England's non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance. These inspiring collections represent a vital part of our national cultural and artistic heritage.
The Scheme was launched in 1997 and now recognises 135 collections held in museums, libraries and archives.This document presents a series of Frequently Asked Questions for prospective applicants.
|Publisher:||Museums, Libraries & Archives Council|