Collections Research for Museums
Collections Research for Museums

Online Training

Administered through Museum Classes Online, part of the Northern States Conservation Center. For more information, or to sign up, check the Museum Classes Online website at


The Basics of Museum Registration

This course will cover the basics of museum record keeping. The role of the mission statement as the foundation for the museum will be discussed along with the importance of establishing set policies and procedures. The terms ‘registration’ and ‘accession’ will be defined and the process discussed. Three common types of numbering systems will be reviewed and the answer to the question "Why do museums put those little bitty numbers on all their artifacts?" will be revealed. The Museum Registration Manual, its importance for the museum and what it should contain will be reviewed.

Participants will be asked to create a mission statement, collection policy and acquisition policy for a ‘new’ museum; comment on one of the selected readings about museum missions; complete an accessioning exercise; and for the final class project create a sample registration manual for our ‘new’ museum.


The Mission Statement: Is It Really That Important?  

This is a Short Course designed to concentrate on a single topic--in this case the Museum Mission Statement.  Participants will create a mission statement for a 'new' museum, review numerous mission statements from existing museums, and discuss issues relating to the most important document in a museum--the mission statement.


Collections Management: Cataloging Your Collection

This workshop will cover the basics of collections cataloging. Cataloging procedures will be discussed in detail. Sample forms to support these procedures will be available. Best practices for numbering artifacts will be presented, as well as how to perform inventories and condition reports. Procedures for handling, measuring, and describing of all types of objects and materials will be discussed. Students will be asked to describe an everyday object and practice cataloging several items from their own collections or households.


Collection Inventories

Collection inventories are an important part of collections management and collection security. This class will discuss everything you ever wanted to know about collection to set up for a collection inventory, how to conduct a collection inventory, what to look for during the inventory, how to reconcile the information gathered during a collection inventory and how often inventories should be done.


Museum Ethics

This course will examine the role of ethics in museums and related institutions. Topics addressed will include the differences in ethics, laws, and morals; what ethics are and where they come from; the ethical codes that museum professionals follow; how ethics affect professional practices; why ethics are important; and how ethical standards can help museums and related institutions better serve society. Participants in the course will gain an understanding of the importance of ethics in professional museum practice, how codes of ethics are written and why they are important, and will develop an understanding of the most significant codes of ethics subscribed to by museum professionals.


2020 Online Course Schedule

The Basics of Museum Registration                                          January 6 to February 7, 2020

Collections Management: Cataloging Your Collections                                July 6 to 31, 2020

Museum Ethics                                                                                                  July 6 to 31, 2020
Collection Inventories                                                                             November 2 to 30, 2020

The Mission Statement: Is It Really That Important?                        November 2 to 13, 2020

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Collections Research for Museums
4830 E Kansas Dr
Denver, CO 80246

Phone: +1 303 7577962 +1 303 7577962

Toll Free: +1 877-757-7962


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