Join the Campaign for Good Curatorship!

Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:37 am

The Collections Trust and Dr Tim Ewin are calling on the international museum community to get involved in the ‘Campaign for Good Curatorship’ – a new campaign to recognise and celebrate the role of curatorship in delivering excellent museums. The campaign is already supported by an active community and features a manifesto calling on national organisations in the UK to affirm their commitment to supporting good curatorship.


Museums have a vital role to play in a healthy, tolerant and inclusive society. The Collections Trust believe that all museums need good curators and that maximising public benefit comes from a balance between community engagement and expertise in the objects pertaining to that community’s heritage.

Good curators understand their collections and use this knowledge to improve the impact, value and sustainability of all of the outward-facing functions of the museum. The campaign is inspired by the vision of museums as open, participatory places and its aim is to promote the crucial role of curators and curatorship in making museums and their collections useful, relevant and sustainable for the public benefit.

Join the Campaign!

The Collections Trust would like to invite you to show your support for the Campaign for Good Curatorship, to debate the issues it raises and to help raise awareness of the importance of good curatorship.

You can join the public Campaign Group to show your support and get involved! Just go to:

What is a Good Curator?

A good curator is defined here as one who is:

  • A specialist who is knowledgeable about the collections and their context to the communities they serve.
  • Able to recognise the value of their collection and ensure it continues to develop to remain relevant
  • Able to make their knowledge freely available to support the work of their colleagues and the wider functions of the museum, particularly with regards to ensuring sustainable use of collections and that this knowledge is continued in perpetuity
  • Accountable, open and honest and committed to diversity and inclusivity.

What is Good Curatorship?

The Good Curatorship Campaign seeks to make provision for appropriate levels of curatorial staff a priority within the museum sector, and thereby support the following outcomes for museums:

  • Ensure the collections are relevant to the communities they serve;
  • Produce more effective exhibitions & outreach that enhance the visitor’s understanding (not just divert their attention);
  • Provide more efficient collections management which promotes relevance, sustainability and audience value;
  • Deliver on the public expectation that the museum will ensure that objects of cultural significance can be enjoyed by all, both now and for generations to come.

What is the Campaign calling for?

  1. Museums and museum professionals to show their support for this campaign by signing up to this manifesto
  2. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport to recognise the role of good curatorship in delivering excellent museum services
  3. Arts Council England to promote curatorship as a tool for supporting engagement in the Museums Accreditation Scheme
  4. The Museums Association to acknowledge the role of curatorship in their vision for Museums 2020 and in future versions of the Code of Ethics for Museums
  5. We call on the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to support research into the public benefit of curatorship
  6. We call on organisations providing Museum Studies courses to teach more effectively the importance of curatorial knowledge in all aspects of museum work

The Collections Trust is committed to reflecting the positive, forward-facing role of curatorship within the SPECTRUM standard and in the development of strategic Collections Management.

Source: Collections Trust Newsletter Jan 10 2013Collections_Link_logo