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Sunday, Jun 01st

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Good Curatorship

The Manifesto for Good Curatorship

altMuseums have a vital role to play in a healthy, tolerant and inclusive society. We believe that all museums need good curators and that maximising public benefit comes from a balance between community engagement and expertise in the objects pertaining to that community’s heritage.

Good curators understand their collections and use this knowledge to improve the impact, value and sustainability of all of the outward-facing functions of the museum. We are inspired by the vision of museums as open, participatory places. Our aim is to promote the crucial role of curators and curatorship in making museums and their collections useful, relevant and sustainable for the public benefit.

We are deeply concerned by the decrease in support of and provision for curatorial expertise in the museums sector. We believe that action needs to be taken now so that knowledge of objects and their relevance to the communities with whom the museums engage is not lost. Action is needed now as many museum employees with this knowledge are nearing retirement, and there is no adequate provision of continuity of this expertise.

 Only through promoting and connecting the different sets of professional skills, from curatorship, outreach, education, collections management, marketing and leadership will we achieve this vision.

Social Justice and Expertise in Museums

Nick Poole, CEO, Collections Trust

If there was a defining phrase from last week's excellent Museums Association conference in Edinburgh, it would be 'campaigning for social justice'. As well as providing one of the themes for the conference, 'social justice' became the motif most commonly picked up and repeated by the assembled delegates. I hope that it continues to grow and develop in the months to come as more people come to see the potential for museums to take positive action to resolve inequality and intolerance in society.