26 April 2013

Revisiting Collections: report published

I was pleased to meet many of you at t MEG’s workshop at the Horniman Museum on 14th March. You may remember mention of the research report ‘Is Revisiting Collections working?’ commissioned for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Special Initiative 'Our Museum: Communities and Museums as Active Partners'. This has now been published online.  Full and summary versions can be downloaded from the PHF website

I have also uploaded to the Collections Link website so that the reports can sit alongside the Revisiting Collections toolkits, resources and guidance notes.

I am hugely grateful the over 50 interviewees who were so generous in sharing their experiences of using Revisiting Collections and their very insightful comments on the methodology’s strengths, weaknesses and potential. It is their contributions that (I hope you’ll agree) make the report such a valuable read for anyone interested in exploring how effectively Revisiting Collections can help deliver active participation and begin a process of change in the way organisations work with their collections and their communities.

The evidence shows that Revisiting Collections works and remains relevant, but that that there can be practical and organisational barriers to using the methodology successfully. Organisations and individual practitioners will continue to need support to overcome these, as well as to find out about the methodology and its potential. 

The report makes targeted recommendations to stakeholder organisations including Collections Trust, strategic sector lead bodies and funders so that:
Services and individuals that might benefit from Revisiting Collections are encouraged and
supported to consider and use the methodology
New entrants and current practitioners in the heritage professions, grant applicants and
services preparing to meet relevant sector wide standards (e.g. Accreditation) are
informed about the methodology and can readily access the necessary tools, guidance, case
studies and peer group support.
The full report also includes some practical guidance notes for services considering using the methodology.

I’ll be very happy to discuss the report and its findings – or potential specific applications of Revisitng Collections.

Caroline Reed

Museum and Heritage Consultant
020 7638 0012
07971 953137

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