Collections Management in the National Museums And Galleries of Northern Ireland: Hc 1130, Session 2005-06, Report by the Comptroller And Auditor General

9780102940053: Collections Management in the National Museums And Galleries of Northern Ireland: Hc 1130, Session 2005-06, Report by the Comptroller And Auditor General

The National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland (MAGNI), created in 1998, brought together the Ulster Museum, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, and the Ulster-American Folk Park (and it is also responsible for the operation of W5, the first Science Discovery Centre in Ireland, opened in 2001). The collection comprises some 1.45 million artefacts and works of art. The NIAO examined the structure of MAGNI, and the documentation and storage of the collection. Since 1994 all acquisitions have been documented to SPECTRUM (Standard Procedures for Collections Recording Used in Museums) standards, an internationally recognised standard for museum documentation. Although considerable progress has been made in computerisation, less than ten per cent of records are currently computerised. NIAO recommends: a key performance indicator covering the percentage of the collection documented to international standards, reported annually; more photographing of important items (for records and internet use); and regular physical inspection of a sample of records. At present only ten percent of the collection is on display. Storage of the remainder in some 50 separate locations was found to be poor or unacceptable in 30 locations, although the main stores holding the bulk of the collection are classed as good to excellent. NIAO welcomes the storage development plan being created, and recommends consideration of a centralized store, and performance indicators on storage conditions and internet accessibility to improve public access to the collections.

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