For immediate release | July 2, 2012

Records management for museums and galleries

CHICAGO — The systematic management of records is an important activity for “information organizations” such as museums and galleries but is not always recognized as a core function. Record-keeping activities are often concentrated on small groups of records, and staff charged with managing them may have limited experience.

Records Management for Museums and Galleries: An Introduction,” published by Chandos Publishing and available through Neal-Schuman Publishers, offers a comprehensive overview of records management work within the heritage sector. Authors Charlotte Brunskill and Sarah R. Demb draw on more than a decade of experience in applying fundamental principles and practices to the specific circumstances of museums, introducing readers to the institutional culture, functions and records common to museums. Topics covered include:

  • A history of records keeping in the museum and gallery sector;
  • Making a business case for records management;
  • Requirements of legislation for records management;
  • How to conduct a records survey;
  • Strategy and action planning;
  • How to develop a file plan, retention schedule and records management protocol;
  • A guide to useful additional resources.

Brunskill is archivist and records manager at the Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art, sister institution to the Yale Center for British Art. Before this she spent seven years at the National Portrait Gallery in London, where she was responsible for establishing, from scratch, a comprehensive records management and archive protocol. She has published numerous articles and taught records management. She holds a Master’s degree in Archive Administration and Records Management from University College London, UK.

Demb is the first records manager at the Museum of London and is also responsible for its institutional archive. Previously, she was advisor to the London Museums Hub and held similar posts for museums at Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. She trains, lectures and publishes on museum archive and records management and presents regularly at conferences.

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Related Links

"Records Management for Museums and Galleries: An Introduction"

"Project Management in Libraries, Archives and Museums"

"Museum Collections Management: A Handbook"


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