Collections Care Conference 2022: R is for... Review and Rationalisation

We are thrilled to announce that bookings are now open for the 8th Annual SHARE/UCM Collections Care Conference: Review and Rationalisation.

This year’s conference will be examining issues such as appropriate places of repository, collection reviews, practical and ethical considerations for disposal, commitment to and responsibility of long-term collections care as well as regional case studies.

The conference is split across two days: 27th- 28th January with a mixture of online panel discussions and case studies.

To book, visit the SHARE Training CalendarWhen you receive your email booking confirmation from Eventbrite, scroll down to see the four links for each session and book directly onto those sessions you wish to attend.

Virtual Presentations

As part of this year’s conference, from Monday 24th January there will be a range of pre-recorded presentations from a variety of speakers designed to reflect, inspire and motivate. These will be available to view on the University Cambridge Museums YouTube Channel and we will add details here when they are available.  No booking required. 

The following videos will be available from 9am on Monday 24th January (click on the titles to watch the videos):

Towards Sustainable Collection Management
Dr Cordelia Rogerson (Head of Collection Care & Metadata Management at the British Library)

In this presentation I am going to introduce some early thoughts being developed at the British Library towards a collection management strategy that emphasises sustainability. I will introduce the way we are interpreting sustainability for collection management and give some examples of how this will be put into practice.

Epping Forest Museum Review and Reimagine Project
Francesca Pellegrino (Heritage and Venues Team Leader), Esther Green (Review and Rationalisation Project Officer) and Ian Channell (Collections Officer)

A question and answer discussion between three members of the Review and Reimagine project management team at Epping Forest District Museum. Francesca, Ian and Esther discuss their review and rationalisation project, which having started in late 2020, will look at over 100K objects across four storage locations. They cover topics including,  the challenges faced tackling the project throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, following up disposals, dealing with hazardous material, tackling undocumented items, the sale of items, and their star object discoveries.

Top 10 Tips for Rationalising Collections 
Wayne Kett (Collections Development Officer at Norfolk Museum Service)

I would like to share with you my top 10 rationalisation tips. These are not intended as a comprehensive guide to the disposal of museum collections. They are instead (hopefully) useful insights into my experience from working on the rationalisation of museum collections over many years. I will cover topics like; the importance of rationalisation, talking to your stakeholders, how to approach decision making, why documentation is so important and whether we might see a bolder approach to disposal in the future.

Accreditation and Disposal Relationship Manager
Ruth Burwood (Museum Accreditation at Arts Council England)

Considering a disposal or sale of something from your museum collections?

Join ACE Relationship Manager, Ruth Burwood, for a refresher on how the Accreditation standard supports ethical disposal, including:

  • how to check what policies and procedures are in place for your organisation
  • what sector guidance is available
  • how to get advice on a specific sale


More details on the presenters can be found on the speaker list below.

Conference Schedule:

Day 1: Thursday 27th January

10:30 – 12:00 I’ll Just Leave This With You…  Panel Discussion and Q&A. 

What should we consider when accepting objects into the collection? Why is it important to have a robust Collections Development Policy? How do we know when to say No?

This panel will be chaired by Su Booth (MDO for Norfolk) and will feature the following panellists:

  • Dr Cordelia Rogerson – British Library
  • Hannah Jones – National Archives
  • Ian Channell – Epping Forest District Museum
  • Wayne Kett – Norfolk Museum Service

14:00 – 16:00 Ethical Disposal with the Collections Trust 

This practical session will take a scenario approach to explore a variety of disposals issues and themes including collections management and documentation, legal and ethical considerations.

Please note, places are limited for this session.

This panel will be chaired by Jamie Everitt (Regional Museum Development Manager) and will feature the following panellists:

  • Alistair Brown – Museums Association
  • Prof Janet Ulph – University of Leicester
  • Ruth Burwood – Arts Council England
  • Sarah Brown – Collections Trust

More details on the panellists can be found in the speaker list below.

Day 2: Friday 28th January

10:30 – 12:00 Coffee Morning Social

Join us for an informal coffee morning and the chance to hear from and chat to past and current recipients of the SHARE Museums East Collections Review and Rationalisation Grants.

This session will feature the following speakers:

  • Aimee Flack – Museum of Cambridge
  • Emily Deal – Farmland Museum and Denny Abbey
  • Esther Green – Epping Forest District Museum
  • Glenys Wass – Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery

13:30 – 15:00 Challenging Collections Care.  Panel Discussion and Q&A. 

What is involved in the responsible care and management of collections that we decide to retain? What are the possible implications of holding resource heavy collections?

This panel will be chaired by Jayne Austin (MDO for Suffolk) and will feature the following panellists:

  • Kloe Rumsey – Manchester Museums
  • Lorraine Finch – LFCP
  • Rory McDaid – CIMS
  • Dr Trish Biers – University of Cambridge, Duckworth Laboratory

More details on the panellists can be found in the speaker list below.









Speaker List:

Trish Biers
Collections Manager at University of Cambridge, Duckworth Laboratory

I am the Curator of the Duckworth laboratory in the Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. Previous museum positions I have held include Osteologist in the Repatriation Osteology Laboratory, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Education & Outreach Assistant at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, and Associate Curator and Repatriation Coordinator (NAGPRA Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) at the San Diego Museum of Man in California. I teach in the Department about ethics, repatriation, treatment of the dead, mortuary archaeology, and osteology.

My research interests include modern death work, osteoarchaeology and paleopathology, mortuary archaeology of the Americas, gender, biomolecular archaeology, the Columbian Exchange, and museum studies focusing on working with human remains, repatriation and indigenous visibility.

Alistair Brown
Museums Association

I am an experienced and capable public affairs professional with an excellent knowledge of politics and policy-making in the UK, EU and Scotland. I build excellent stakeholder and media relationships, and have delivered successful public affairs campaigns for a range of sectors, including culture, energy and housing.

Sarah Brown
Outreach Manager at Collections Trust

Sarah works closely with the museum development network across the English regions to manage a programme of free, ACE-funded events (she can also deliver training elsewhere on a consultancy basis). Sarah is also the person to contact with your collection management queries, particularly about Spectrum and Museum Accreditation. She originally trained as a conservator and has worked in various collections management roles, including National Museums Scotland and Powell-Cotton Museum.

Ruth Burwood
Relationship Manager, Museum Accreditation at Arts Council England

Ruth Burwood has worked in museums for over 20 years in a variety of roles, from learning to curation. Most recently, Ruth moved from her role as a Museum Development Project Officer and Accreditation Adviser for SHARE Museums East, to join Arts Council England. She currently works across the East, South East and London.

Ian Channell
Collections Officer at Epping Forest District Museum

Ian is a Conservation and Archaeology graduate from Cardiff and Edinburgh Universities, with previous experience in Collections Care at the Fitzwilliam Museum and Archaeological Archives at Border Archaeology. Ian is currently the Collections Officer at Epping Forest District Museum in Waltham Abbey, Essex, overseeing, alongside Esther Green, the museum’s rationalisation project. He is committed to making the collection more accessible, relevant and reflective of a wider range of people.

Emily Deal
Collections and Audience Engagement Officer at Farmland Museum and Denny Abbey




Lorraine Finch
Sustainability Consultant at LFCP

Lorraine is a conservator and a conservationist. She is an accredited conservator of archives, photographs, film
and sound. She is an original hippy being involved in the modern environmental conservation movement since its inception. Lorraine is Director and founder of LFCP. LFCP provides remote and onsite consultation, training opportunities and mentoring to organisations to help them meet their sustainability goals. Lorraine is a Director and Trustee of the Institute of Conservation [Icon]. She is cofounder and Chair of the Icon Environmental Sustainability Network.

Aimee Flack
Collections Officer at Museum of Cambridge

Aimee is a museum professional, with a background in collections management, research and interpretation. Passionate about social history collections and the stories they can tell, Aimee will be working closely with our dedicated volunteer team to strengthen the collection’s relevancy, and supporting new community interpretation. This role is part of the National Lottery Heritage Funded project Museum Making, which aims to increase and improve our engagement with local communities and visitors to Cambridge alike.

Esther Green
Review and Rationalisation Project Office at Epping Forest District Museum

Esther is the Review and Rationalisation Project Officer at Epping Forest District Museum. Esther is a Victorian Studies graduate form Birkbeck College, London and has held various curatorial and collections care roles.

Hannah Jones
Sector Development Manager: East and Arts at The National Archives

Hannah is a qualified, professionally registered archivist who has worked at The National Archives since 2017. As Sector Development Manager: East and Arts, Hannah works with archive services and organisations across the east and south east, providing advice, support and examples of best practice in managing archives. Her role also involves working with freelancers, consultants and other key stakeholders, including SHARE and other Museum Development teams. Hannah is also a mentor, training provider, project manager, and an assessor for the Archive Service Accreditation scheme.

Wayne Kett
Collections Development Officer at Norfolk Museum Service

I have worked in the Collections Management team at Norfolk Museums Service for the past eight years and am responsible for managing our stored collections. During this time I have overseen a significant program of review and rationalisation of across our 10 museums. In that time, we have successfully approved for disposal and re-homed 670 objects. I have worked with Share Museums East over many years to provide rationalisation training for other museums in the region.

Rory McDaid
Collections Information Officer at Colchester and Ipswich Museums

Rory has been Collections Information Officer at Colchester + Ipswich for 5 years, previously working in collections focused roles at Norfolk Museums, Pitt Rivers and National Museums Scotland. You’ll find him mostly getting excited about documentation and collections management systems and finding any excuse to make them the subject of work-chat!

Francesca Pellegrino
Heritage and Venues Team Leader at Epping Forest District Museum

Francesca is the Team Manager for Heritage and Venues at Epping Forest District Council, overseeing the museum service and project managing this rationalisation project. Francesca has worked for Epping Forest District Museum for over 7 years in various roles covering audience development, marketing and commercialisation. She has undertaken a number of museum and heritage roles in the past and is a graduate in History of Art and Material Studies from UCL.

Dr Cordelia Rogerson
Head of Collection Care & Metadata Management at the British Library

Hello, my name is Cordelia Rogerson and my role is Head of Collection Care & Metadata Management at the British Library (or the BL). The British Library is the national library of the UK and has a reach across the world since the collection is one of the largest and most culturally diverse library collections in the world. In my role, I am responsible for the care of the collection and ensuring it is available for use to anyone who wishes to use it.

Kloe Rumsey
Senior Conservation Officer at The People’s History Museum

I’m a not-quite-mid-career-yet objects conservator at the People’s History Museum Textiles Conservation Studio. This means that I’m specialised in the conservation of painted textiles, but I’m also in charge of the care of our rich collection of objects of all materials and ages, from so-and-so’s desk from 1900, to a plastic placard printed last year.

I am also a co-host and co-creator of the C Word, The Conservators Podcast, which is a museums podcast in the eyes of conservators that we’ve been doing for 6 years.

I have a particular interest in the changing nature of protest and craft, and what that means for the materials that come into collections.

Janet Ulph
Professor of Commercial Law at University of Leicester

In 2016, I was a member of a working party led by the Arts Council and the Museums Association which produced ethical guidelines relating to closure of museums. This work with the museum sector built upon a previous AHRC/ESRC Placement Fellowship. I worked at the Museums Association to provide guidance relating to financially motivated sales from collections; this now forms an appendix to the Disposals Toolkit.

In 2020, I was involved in drafting guidance with the Institute of Art and Law relating to the restitution and repatriation of items from museum collections; this work was supported by a grant from Arts Council England.

Glenys Wass
Heritage Collections Manager at Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery




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