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Museum Documentation

ICOM International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC) wrote on 2012-06-13:
Museum documentation is concerned with the development and use of information about the objects within a museum collection and the procedures which support the management of the collection. This information should be recorded in written or digital form in a museum documentation system and should be accessible to staff, researchers and the public.
With effective documentation, a museum should be able to facilitate:
  • collection policies; 
  • collection care and accountability; 
  • collection access, interpretation and use; 
  • collection research.

The range of Museum Documentation is held by some to be limited to that required for effective collections management, with Cataloguing limited to a few core identifying facets, sufficient to categorize an object for identification, preservation, and allocation to a domain of study. For others the full extent of what can be said about, or because of, a collection or item in it is in scope.
For other still its range extends beyond information related to collections to other areas of museum activity including management functions.

The norm however remains that Museum Documentation is as described in the ICOM CIDOC quote above with the scope limited to information related to collections but inclusive of any activity, information or interpretation or reaction to them.

See also

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