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Museometry: collections and numbers

This theme aims to improve the recording of quantitative and qualitative data on the national collection: the composition, use and output of collections.

Until now, statistics on and trends and processes in collection management in the museum sector have been subjected to only limited analysis on the basis of numbers and indicators. As a result, decisions have often been based on intuition and tradition. The Cultural Heritage Agency hopes to change this by taking both a quantitative and a qualitative approach to collections and collection management. This would be an important step in the professionalisation of the museum sector.

Ad hoc quantitative analyses in the museum sector have been carried out in the past few years. Time and time again it has proved difficult to obtain reliable figures. The number of variables found when comparing museums also constituted an almost insurmountable barrier to benchmarking (the assessment of performance by comparison with a standard).

These observations justify the choice of a structural, long-range programme focusing on a quantitative approach to the research questions that arise in the field of collection management.

Programme manager

Frank Bergevoet: