Guidance for more open and inclusive cataloguing

In an updated version of the Collections Trust’s cataloguing guidance Spectrum, aspects concerning inclusion and openness have been included. The Spectrum 5.0 version from 2017 has especially seen updates in the Cataloguing and Use of collections procedures.

To mention some updates, Spectrum 5.1 shifts the focus of cataloguing from the needs of only the museum to the needs of a variety of users and reminds that information and knowledge might come from multiple sources and perspectives. In connection to this, there has also been some updates to the language used to make the tone more outward-looking

Spectrum 5.1 is available as an interactive web version in English and Spectrum 5.0 is available in Arabic (AR), Spanish (ES), French (FR), Dutch (NL), Norwegian (NO), Polish (PL) and Swedish (SV). Spectrum is free to download and use non-commercially but users are asked to agree to the licensing conditions.

Collections Trust is running a series of webinars about the Spectrum 5.1 updates and the next one, taking place on 24 November, will deal with the revised Cataloguing procedure. Learn more and register.

What is Spectrum?

Spectrum gives tried-and-tested advice on the things most museums do when managing their collections. Some of these are daily activities, such as moving objects around and updating location records. Others are occasional, like updating insurance cover. Spectrum calls all these activities procedures and there are 21 of them.

Who is it for?

Spectrum is for museums of any size and any collection type, and may also be useful to similar institutions with museum-like collections. To keep things simple, we use ‘museum’ to cover all collections-based organisations, and ‘you’ to mean everyone involved in managing the collections in your care: from the governing bodies who set policies and budgets to every level of staff and volunteer, both front-of-house and behind the scenes.

Spectrum originated in the UK and is used by all Accredited museums there, but in recent years the standard has been adopted by a number of other countries and translated into several languages.