First you need to decide if you make a documentation of your whole museum or if you split it into different collections. That depends how large your museum is and if different people are responsible for different collections.
Overview of the collection
- Elevator Pitch: Imagine a very important person is visiting your collection. They know nothing about it. You have 30 seconds on the elevator to tell them the most important facts.
Describe your collection in three sentences. (Normal sentences, not scientific-paper-five-comma-sentences). Important are : Content of the collection, size, significance.
On your way to the storage there are a few polite questions. Now you have a bit more time to answer, but stay focussed: Give an overview, do not go into details of collection concepts or the donor’s biography. That will come later.
- Collection in context: Is your collection part of a larger museum collection? Is there any way to distinguish your collection from the others? (separate storage, different inventory number, classification,..)
- Significance of the collection: How important is your collection in comparison to the other collections in your museum/to similar collections in other museums? What are the main differences?
Maria Scherrers is museum specialist with degrees from HTW Berlin and the University of Leicester. She spent most of her working life so far in company museums and collections. She is fascinated by the way our everyday life is changed by brands and how that influences our cultural history and what we will be collecting in the future. In the mean time she is a consultant for company that wish to build and use historic product collections.
She spends her little free time on her family and on politics.
This post is also available in: German