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Online Course: Collections Management

July 9 - September 3

| $195 - $295
Collections Management

This eight week online class is about managing cultural collections and will cover collections policies, how to know what you have, what you need to know about your collections, how to know where everything in your collection is located, and making sure that someone gets some good out of your collection. Collections management is all of the activities related to the administration of collections including planning, development, care, conservation, documentation, and making those collections available to the public. You’ll learn why museums have so many pieces of paper for each object and what all those numbers on the paper and objects are about. You will figure out what to keep and possibly what to let go of and last but not least, who should do what with all those things.

DATES: July 9 – September 3, 2018

COST: $195 AASLH Members/ $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: April 30 – June 25, 2018; Registration limited to 30 people



FORMAT: Online, weekly-paced course.

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Weekly forum discussions, two real-time online chats (attendance required), assignments

MATERIALS: One required text, Two recommended texts

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro!  certificate from AASLH

Description & Outcomes:

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.

After completing this course, participants will understand principles and best practices of collections management, and will have completed the following:

  • Developed a detailed draft of a Collections Policy
  • Developed or identified a collection of objects
  • Developed a standardized set of registration records and forms: inventory, catalog, accession, loans
  • Learned about various registration numbering systems and how to mark objects appropriately
  • Discussed issues related to collecting strategies, mission, purpose and scope of collections
  • Developed a broader understanding of legal and ethical concerns of managing collections
  • Used computerized collection management software

Who Should Attend:

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with collections management. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.

Required Text:

Things Great and Small Book Cover John E. Simmons, Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies, Second Edition, Washington, DC: American Alliance of Museums, 2017 (Paperback ISBN 9781442277458). This text is NOT INCLUDED with your registration. Please order from the book seller of your choice.

Recommended Resources:

Registration Methods Book Cover Daniel B. Reibel. Registration Methods for the Small Museum, Fourth Edition, Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2008 (Paperback ISBN 978-0-7591-1131-8) (About $32.00). This text is NOT INCLUDED with your registration. Please order from the book seller of your choice.
Image of MRM5 Book Cover Rebecca A. Buck and Jean Allman Gilmore, MRM5 Museum Registration Methods, 5th Edition. Washington, DC: American Association of Museums, 2010. ISBN 978-0838911228. This text is NOT INCLUDED with your registration. Please order from the book seller of your choice.

dyani-307-159-sDyani Feige, Director of Preservation Services at the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA), works with libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural organizations to conduct needs assessments and risk assessments, assists in emergency preparedness, and helps develop policy and planning documents and long-term preservation plans. She also helps develop and present preservation-related educational programs, and has taught programs on archival management, policy development, and emergency preparedness. Before joining CCAHA, Feige worked for the Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives, the New York Public Library’s Preservation Division, the Conference Board, New York University’s Bobst Library, and Kent State University’s Special Collections & Archives.  She received her Master of Science in Library and Information Science with an Archives Certificate from Pratt Institute.