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Coffee Gatherings


Designing a Collection Plan | Recording and Resources

On Tuesday, October 22 at 3 PM (EST), the RAAMP Coffee Gathering focused on the process of creating Collection Plans in academic art museums.  This topic emerged from an inquiry on the AAMG listserv and revealed a curious lack of publicly available collection plan examples. In order to continue the conversation in real-time, we carved out time for colleagues embarking on this process — or those who have finished — to share their expertise and questions that arose at their own organizations.

Some of the questions that started the conversation included:

  • What sections should be included in a collection plan?
  • How does the collection plan integrate others, such as the university’s strategic plan, interpretive plan, and/or collections management policy?
  • Who should be involved in creating the document?
  • How might an academic art museum include their various communities in the process?
  • With colleagues in your museums, how do you successfully have conversations on how to limit or focus a collection, especially at an encyclopedic museum?
  • How might this document be helpful for donors?
  • Do you share your collection plan publicly?
  • How often do you revisit and revise your collection plan?

Collection Plan Survey Results 

Participants in the coffee gathering were asked to participate in a survey regarding collection planning in order to answer some questions that occurred during the meeting. Eight museum professionals responded.  

For full results, see here: 

Collection Plan Writers’ Roles 

Collection Plan Committee Members’ Roles   

Frequency of Collection Plan Committee Meetings 

Timeline of Completion for Collection Plans 

Sharing Collection Plans 

Example Collection Plans and Resources

AAM Collections Planning Resources (requires an AAM member login)

Augustana College Teaching Museum of Art Collections Management Policy (this includes language about gift of endowment funds in section 4 b iii 1)

Abridged Collections Plan: Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersberg College (Revised 2014)

Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University

Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies by John E. Simmons