Collection Management Policies—Preparation, Implementation, Evaluation
Instructor: John Simmons
Date: September 19-21, 2018
This course is designed to teach you how to write (or revise) a comprehensive set of policies to better collections in museums and related cultural institutions. The topics covered include a comparison of policies, procedures, and plans; what should be covered in collections management policies; methods for developing and preparing policy statements; and the relevance of standards and best practices to policy development. Policies considered include acquisition and accession of objects, deaccession and disposal, loans, collection access and use, intellectual property rights related to collection objects, risk management, documentation, and codes of ethics. Course material will be presented in the form of lectures, readings, and in-class hands-on activities.
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John E. Simmons (BA, Systematics & Ecology; MA, Museum Studies) began his career as a zoo keeper before becoming a collections manager at the California Academy of Sciences and then at the University of Kansas, where he also served as Director of the Museum Studies Program until 2007. Simmons has received the American Alliance of Museums Superior Voluntary Service Award (2001), Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Mentoring of Graduate Students (2005), the Carolyn L. Rose Award for Outstanding Commitment to Natural History Collections and Management (2011), and the AAM Registrars Committee Dudley-Wilkinson Award of Distinction (2016). His books include Cuidado, Manejo y Conservación de las Colecciones Biológicas (2005, with Yaneth Muñoz-Saba); Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies (2006); Fluid Preservation: A Comprehensive Reference (2014); Foundations of Museum Studies: Evolving Systems of Knowledge (2014, with Kiersten Latham); Herpetological Collecting and Collections Management (3rd edition 2014); and Museums: A History (2016). His chapter on “Collections Management: History, Theory, and Practice” appeared in Museum Practice: The Contemporary Museum at Work, International Handbook of Museum Studies in 2015. He currently runs Museologica (a museum consulting company) teaches museum studies in the US and Colombia, and is Adjunct Curator of Collections for the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery at Penn State University.