Documenting Your Collections
From exhibition halls to cyberspace, the emphasis today is on disseminating cultural content. And what better place to find that cultural content than in museum collections? In order to disseminate content, though, you first have to know what is in your collection. So the first step in knowing your collection is documenting its inventory. This publication is intended to guide collection managers through this crucial step.
We hope that this tool will assist members of the museum community in the standardized collection documentation process.
Since 1991, one of the strengths of the Société des musées québécois Info-Muse Network lies in its members' readiness to share information on their collections. This guide was designed to foster such communication. Sharing begins "at home," to ensure ready access to and the continuity of information within the institution, and then extends to colleagues at other museums, through the Info-Muse database.
Regardless of how useful this guide may be, the fact remains that it is up to our members themselves to undertake the long and arduous task of properly documenting their collections, ensuring that common standards are followed, computerizing and updating data and making it accessible in the Info-Muse database. They have the necessary tools, thanks to the support of the Quebec Department of culture and communications and the Heritage Canada Museums Assistance Program, and to the exceptional determination of Françoise Simard, Director of the Société des musées québécois Info-Muse Network.
It is now up to all of us to see the job through to completion, to ensure that Quebec museums have the human resources in place to oversee and develop their operations.
Happy reading! May this guide serve you well in your work.
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