The collection care and access project: balancing demands on collections

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Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gwilt, Diane;


Conservation and Access: Contributions to the 2008 IIC Congress, London, p.0-0 (2008)


In 2003, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum, Wales – obtained funding for a project that aimed to alleviate congestion in its stores through the building of a centralised storage facility. The collections were assessed using criteria that considered only their long-term preservation needs. Whilst the seductive logic of this approach would have matched the museum’s aspirations to “develop flourishing collections that are sustained and growing”, the proposed location of the facility potentially compromised their ability to be “well-used”. This factor, in combination with prohibitive costs, prompted a re-evaluation of the project. This paper describes how the newly appointed project leader introduced a new set of criteria that balanced all the demands that are made on collections and demonstrated a range of potential solutions. As a consequence, a total of £4400000 has now been invested in a suite of new build and refurbishment schemes at four museum sites across Wales.