Collections Management 100 - Collection Development (Fall 2024) - Online Course

Collections Management 100 - Collection Development (Fall 2024) - Online Course

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Collections Management 100: Collection Development

In this course, participants will learn about the general principles underlying the idea of being a “collecting organization,” and how collections support the mission of a museum or history organization.  Students will explore the purpose of a Collection Management Policy and how it relates to other core museum documents, create the Foundational Statements and Collection Development sections of their collections management policy and operationalize those components using example objects.  (STEPS COL Standards 1-7, 9, 11)

Week 1: What is a Collection Management Policy?
Week 2: Ethics related to collecting, collections, and the public
Week 3: Mission and Scope of Collections
Week 4: Temporary Custody
Week 5: Accessions and cataloging
Week 6: Deaccession and Disposal
Week 7: Abandoned and undocumented property
Week 8: Sharing your knowledge

About the Collections Management series

This two-part course is intended to result in a complete Collections Management Policy draft. Participants can use the courses to develop a Policy from scratch, or significantly revise an existing Policy.  During the course, students will operationalize their policies-in-development through a series of activities using sample objects, readings, asynchronous interactions with fellow participants, and Zoom meetings. Engaging in both of these courses will help STEPS participants meet all 12 Stewardship of Collections Standards in the STEPS program. This course works best if participants have access to a museum and its collection (either as a board member, staff person, or volunteer), but this is not required.

Course Logistics

SESSION DATES: August 26 - October 18, 2024

COST: $215 AASLH Members / $315 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours per week on readings, video discussions text-based forum discussions, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM DISCUSSIONS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom discussion will be held biweekly
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Zoom discussions are recorded in case a participant is unable to attend the live sessions

How to Register

Click here for instructions on how to register yourself or another user for this event. 

This content will not be available until 08/19/2024 at 12:00 AM (EDT)