Documentation Histories

Getting Your House in Order – Documentation Histories

Museum Development Yorkshire, in partnership with Collections Trust, Museum Development North West and Museum Development North East, is running Getting Your House In Order series of workshops again for 2022.

This series of online workshops is designed to support you in ensuring that your collections documentation is well managed. Good collections documentation enables ease of use of your collections, and ensures that your museum is properly accountable for the collections it holds.

Please click here for more information on the series of workshops

About this Session

This session will explore the benefits of recording the history of your documentation systems. For example, have you captured key information about historic cataloguing systems, old numbering systems and policies?

We will explore this topic using elements from the collections biography toolkit developed by Museum Development Yorkshire as a framework, as well as Collections Trust guidance about developing procedural manuals:

“A collection biography is useful as a simple aid to increase understanding of a collection and to give access to all who use it or are involved in its management. It can also be used to inform key stakeholders whose understanding of the collection and the issues which relate to it might be minimal. At its most basic it can be used to create a simple statement which provides an overview of the collections and how they came about …” MDY collection biography toolkit.


Before the session:

• Think about how you do things in your museum, referring to any written information about your museum’s current and previous documentation systems. You might also find it useful to have this with you to refer to during the session.


Learning outcomes:

• Understand the benefits of capturing the history of your museum’s documentation systems.

• Understand the information that might need to be recorded and begin to identify sources of information within your organisation in order to develop this.

• Begin to think about how your organisation might approach capturing and recording this history.


This session is suitable for: Trustees, managers, beginners, volunteers.

This session will be delivered online via Zoom.

The session will last for up to 2 hours, and will include a mid-way break.


Booking Information

When answering the question, “Please describe how this training benefits your role and your organisation?” please say if your museum is facing a potential legal change to its collections, and you will be prioritised for a place.

Please note the booking links below are for museums in Yorkshire and the Humber. If you are based in the North West or the North East, please use the links advertised through your local Museum Development provider.

Click here to book