Records Management for Museums and Galleries

Records Management for Museums and Galleries

An Introduction

1st Edition - April 27, 2012

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  • Authors: Charlotte Brunskill, Sarah Demb
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781843346371
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780632919

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The systematic management of records is an important activity for ‘information businesses’ 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 in the field.Records Management for Museums and Galleries offers a comprehensive overview of records management work within the heritage sector and draws on over a decade of experience in applying fundamental principles and practices to the specific circumstances of museums. It introduces readers to the institutional culture, functions, and records common to museums, and examines the legislative and regulatory environments affecting record-keeping practices. The book is comprised of eight chapters, including: a history of records keeping in the UK museum and gallery sector; the basics of records management; 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 programme; and a guide to useful additional resources.

Key Features

  • Gives practical and tested solutions to real world issues
  • Fills a gap in the literature as a handbook in this important sector
  • Provides an overview of the sector as a whole


Anyone responsible for records management/keeping in a museum environment

Table of Contents

  • List of figures




    About the authors

    Chapter 1: The history of record keeping in the UK museum and gallery sector



    Record keeping in museums: roles

    Record keeping in museums: record types

    Chapter 2: Records management basics



    What is a record?

    What is records management?

    The ‘difference’ between archives and records management

    Basic records management concepts

    Chapter 3: Making a business case for records management



    Compile a business case

    The importance of communication

    Chapter 4: Legislation and records management requirements



    Public Records Acts 1958 and 1967

    Local government legislation

    Data Protection Act 1998

    Freedom of Information Act 2000

    Environmental Information Regulations 2004

    Other relevant legislation

    Chapter 5: The records survey


    Why conduct a survey?

    Pre-survey: the importance of planning

    The survey: issues and tips

    Post-survey: analyse, summarise and report

    Chapter 6: Strategy and action planning



    Why to plan

    How to plan

    How to make the plan into a strategy

    Planning for required resources

    Chapter 7: Developing a file plan, retention schedule and records management programme



    The file plan

    The records retention schedule

    Implementing a records management programme

    A final word

    Chapter 8: Resources

    UK legislation and regulations

    Spoliation and repatriation

    Professional bodies

    Discussion lists

    Useful guidance and training


    Appendices: policies, forms and checklists

    Appendix 1: Risk assessment template and scoring framework

    Appendix 2: Business case example

    Appendix 3: Sample data protection survey form

    Appendix 4: Museum record series commonly containing personal data

    Appendix 5: Sample data protection policies

    Appendix 6: Sample data protection statements

    Appendix 7: Data subject access request form

    Appendix 8: Sample records management policy

    Appendix 9: Museum record series commonly containing environmental information

    Appendix 10: Records survey questionnaire forms

    Appendix 11: Supplies checklist template

    Appendix 12: Sample records transfer instruction and forms for staff



Product details

  • No. of pages: 278
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2012
  • Published: April 27, 2012
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781843346371
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780632919

About the Authors

Charlotte Brunskill

Charlotte Brunskill is Archivist and Records Manager at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (sister institution to the Yale Centre for British Art). Before this, she spent seven years at the National Portrait Gallery where she was responsible for establishing, from scratch, a comprehensive records management and archive programme. Charlotte 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.

Affiliations and Expertise

Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Sarah Demb

Sarah R. 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. Sarah trains, lectures and publishes on museum archive and records management, and presents regularly at conferences. She holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Museum of London, UK

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