AIM Launches New Guidance for Museum Archive Management

The Association of Independent Museums (AIM) has just launched a new online publication called Successfully Managing Archives in Museums as part of its popular Success Guide series. Authored by Emma Chaplin and Janice Tullock and funded by The National Archives, this new guide has been created to help museum staff and volunteers understand archive collections management and to support them to make decisions on how and when it might best be applied to their collections.

‘Successfully Managing Archives in Museums’ provides a starting point in considering archive collections and their management and explains best practice in managing archives, with reference to the needs of museums. This is the eighteenth Success Guide published by AIM and it contains practical solutions, top tips and comprehensive information on archive management that any size museum will find useful.

Wordsworth Trust

Photo: Courtesy of the Wordsworth Trust

“This new guide is aimed at any museum staff or volunteers who are interested in managing collections. It will help people facing practical issues around managing their archive collections but hopefully it also raises awareness and understanding of archive sector standards and how archive services operate,” said Emma Chaplin, one of the authors.

As well as offering practical advice, the guide also introduces some of the theory behind managing archives and providing access to them with case studies and examples of best practice throughout. With proper cataloguing and care, museum archives can be an engaging element of a museum’s collection and the guide is intended to make sure that archive collections in museums don’t get overlooked.

“Objects alone cannot tell the story that museums seek to explore. Archives support interpretation and object research, particularly in digital environments. If an archive is poorly managed it is not available to support this work and can even create risks for the museum,” explained co – author, Janice Tullock.

The AIM Success Guide ‘Successfully Managing Archives in Museums’ can be downloaded from the AIM website: AIM Success Guides

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