Collections (Care) Manager

From Wiki

A collections (care) manager ensures the safety and the long-tern preservation and care of objects, often managing storage, conservation and record-keeping associated with the objects; including the development of policies and standards for museums. [1]

Basic Collection (Care) Management Responsibilities

A collection (care) manager has an hands-on problem solving component. From the preservation and care, movement of objects, exhibitions, carry-out re-housing and relocation projects, and may oversee basic housekeeping, integrated pest management, packing, and preparatory staff.[2] The collections (care) manager also preforms in a daily basis environmental monitoring, emergency preparedness, collections care assessments, training volunteers, the evaluation of documentation standards, preparing objects for loan and exhibitions. [3]

Preventive Conservation

The primary role of a collections (care) manager is the planning and implementation of activities that ensures the long-term preservation outlook a collection.

Preventive conservation is the measures and actions taken to avoid and minimizing future deterioration or loss. They are carried out within the context or on the surroundings of an item, but more often a group of items, whatever their age and condition. These measures and actions are indirect – they do not interfere with the materials and structures of the items. They do not modify their appearance. Examples of preventive conservation are appropriate measures and actions for registration, storage, handling, packing and transportation, security, environmental management (light, humidity, pollution and pest control), emergency planning, education of staff, public awareness, legal compliance.[4]

Collection Management Policy

A collection management policies includes everything related to document, care, and develop museums collections and make them available for use. The policies also include standards related to acquisitions, loans, access, and deaccessioning of objects.

There are fundamental commonalities among all collections in the principles that forms the basis for collections management policies:

  1. Each object or specimen entering a museum must be documented.
  2. Collections should be stabilized for long-term preservation and housed in a proper storage environment.
  3. The collections must be regularly inventoried and monitored.
  4. The collections storage environment must be regularity monitored.
  5. All collections activities and monitoring must be documented.

The overall purpose of the collection management policy is to minimize risk to the collection.[5]

Related Terms



English Collections Manager
French Directeur des Collections
Spanish Manejador de Colecciones
Portuguese Gerente de Coleções
Italian Collezione Direttore


  1. Collections manager. (n.d.). Retrieved from:
  2. Buck, R. (2010). Collection Roles. In MRM5: Museum Registration Methods (5th ed., pp. 12-13). Washington, DC: AAM Press, American Association of Museums.
  3. Fifield, B. (2012). What is a Collections Manager? Retrieved from:
  4. Preventive Conservation. (n.d.). Retrieved from:
  5. Simmons, J. (2010). Collection Management Policies. In MRM5: Museum Registration Methods (5th ed., pp. 24-29). Washington, DC: AAM Press, American Association of Museums