Penn Museum Redesign Aims Beyond Academics

The Penn Museum, geared towards becoming “a more public institution” has reinstalled its galleries with thousands of artifacts that have previously been in storage.

The museum has also created a program for immigrants and refugees from Africa, Central America, Mexico, Iraq, and Syria to guide visitors through the museum and speak about the collections of antiquities from their native countries. [The New York Times]

Designing a Collection Plan | Recording and Resources

On Tuesday, October 22 at 3 PM (EST), the RAAMP Coffee Gathering focused on the process of creating Collection Plans in academic art museums.  This topic emerged from an inquiry on the AAMG listserv and revealed a curious lack of publicly available collection plan examples. In order to continue the conversation in real-time, we carved out time for colleagues embarking on this process — or those who have finished — to share their expertise and questions that arose at their own organizations.

Some of the questions that started the conversation included:

  • What sections should be included in a collection plan?
  • How does the collection plan integrate others, such as the university’s strategic plan, interpretive plan, and/or collections management policy?
  • Who should be involved in creating the document?
  • How might an academic art museum include their various communities in the process?
  • With colleagues in your museums, how do you successfully have conversations on how to limit or focus a collection, especially at an encyclopedic museum?
  • How might this document be helpful for donors?
  • Do you share your collection plan publicly?
  • How often do you revisit and revise your collection plan?

Questions for a Collection Plan Survey 

We would like to continue this discussion on Collection Plans through gathering additional information through a survey. We will to collect more information on what sections collections plans include, who is involved in their creation, who can access the finished (or abridged) product, and how frequently academic art museums revisit or edit them.

You may take the survey here. There are 33 questions, which will take about 20 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Example Collection Plans

AAM Collections Planning Resources (requires an AAM member login)

Augustana College Teaching Museum of Art Collections Management Policy (this includes language about gift of endowment funds in section 4 b iii 1)

Abridged Collections Plan: Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersberg College (Revised 2014)

Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University