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Collections for People

Museums' stored collections as a public resource

Suzanne Keene, with Alice Stevenson and Francesca Monti. UCL Institute of Archaeology, 2008. ISBN 978-0-905853-44-4



Cover Collections for People

This AHRC funded research report investigated how much collections were used or accessible to the public and unearthed fascinating statistics and information.


Chart of collections visitors by type of museum

Image: Overall, only a small proportion of museums had more than 500 visitors to their stored collections in a year - less than 10 people a week.


> 74% of museum respondents think collections are insufficiently used
> 97% of museums report a steady or increasing demand for access to collections
> Only 13% of museums strongly promote public access to stored collections



1 Introduction: context and research

2 Museums and collections in England and Wales

3 How much are collections used? The statistics

4 Museums with 'more users'

5 The users' perspective

6 Collections and their uses

7 Digital issues

8 In practice: ways of providing access

9 Conclusions, issues and recommendations