Peer Development Groups for 2017

Opportunities for Museum People to work together across Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight

Buildings and facilities management

This is a group for people working in museums who have specific responsibility for the maintenance and management of buildings and associated facilities. This could range from statutory responsibilities e.g. fire risk assessments and procedures, to best practice activities e.g. a rolling painting and decorating programme. It is aimed at anyone whose wider role includes buildings maintenance as well as anyone whose principal function is that of buildings maintenance.

We will focus on:

  • Gaining a clear understanding of what are statutory responsibilities and what are best practice options.
  • Understanding how to keep abreast of current legislation and how to interpret it for small and medium size museums.
  • How to conduct a buildings maintenance audit in a way that is appropriate for the size of the museum.
  • Risk management and prioritising actions.
  • Integrating priorities into financial forecasting
  • Maintaining a buildings maintenance programme (that includes the above) and sharing that knowledge with other museums.

For more information, get in touch with Hilary Marshall the PDG lead contact


Tackling Backlogs using digital engagement

Nearly everyone has a documentation backlog and finds it hard to give this the time it deserves. We would like to explore ways of tackling this through digital engagement.

The overall idea is to leapfrog cataloguing and end up with something that would be useful for the public, too. One of the areas identified is photographs of unknown people or places. Without supporting information, it is not possible to decide the relevance of the image to your collection. Fundamental issues include who owns the image and so we would also like to work on efficient ways of carrying out due diligence with orphan works and generally sharing our knowledge and understanding of copyright.

The new area we would like to learn more about is how to crowdsource effectively by engaging with audiences digitally. This could help us reach different audiences and also inform us about who are non-users for museums but nevertheless are still interested in engaging with collections. In turn, our approach to how we present our collections digitally may be better informed, what and how to share with audiences. Of course, we recognise that this may require more than one approach but even negative experiences will help understand the potential of digital approaches better.

Contact Kirsty Bell, PDG lead contact, for more details.

Copyright Management in Museums/Archives

We feel that copyright is central to our roles which include documenting, researching and improving access to our collections. Yet despite all being experienced in the area we still find copyright to be a ‘minefield’ of changing legislation and potential legal ramification. The group will focus on improving its member’s confidence and understanding of the theme of copyright, leading to the development of an online resource which will present copyright information in a simplified and accessible way to the wider museum community. We aim to remove the complexities which sometimes surround the subject.

We will seek to build on our existing knowledge developed throughout our careers by sharing and discussing the issues we face. We feel that limited resources are often our greatest challenge, in contrast to larger organisations with dedicated departments. The group aims to observe best practice in other organisations, create case studies and collate relevant information to encourage the improvement of practice, policy and information management across our own museums and in the wider museum community.

Contact Angela Willis, the PDG lead contact, to find out more.

It’s Official! Our new PDGs for 2017!

Today, I am delighted to confirm the successful groups who will form the Peer Development Groups for 2017. Watch out for details about the groups, what they are working on and the launch event coming up.


Delivering Arts Awards

Have you recently started a programme of delivering Arts Awards at your museum and are looking for peers in the same situation to share tips and tricks? Leave you comment here.

Museum Business

Are you looking to increase the profit for your trading company or diversify your income from trading to bolster your museum resources? If you would like to join a group of museum managers to look at ways to work smarter, leave your comment here.

Support Services in Museums

Do you work in admin, finance or as the PA in a museum? If you would like to join a group of peers to help you in your role, leave your comments here.

Copyright Management

If you already have a good basic understanding of copyright in museum collections but would like to work in a group of peers to make more of it, then this might be the PDG for you. Please leave you comments below.

Trustees Managing Volunteers

With so many volunteers taking vital roles in museums, it is inevitable that some find themselves managing other volunteers. Are you in that situation and looking for peers to help improve how you do that? If so, leave a comment here.

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