Collecting Collecting

Collecting

One of the main functions of museums is to collect objects that fall within their collecting remit and Newport Museum and Art Gallery’s remit is set out in the Collections Development Policy (pdf).

Newport’s museum has a long tradition of working with local people and institutions to accumulate some of the most important and interesting collections in Wales. Newport Museums and Heritage Service cares for over 60,000 objects and discrete collections of objects.

Collecting today

Most of what we collect has a strong local link and significance for Newport and its inhabitants.

Due to limitations on resources and a clearly defined collections remit, not everything offered can be added to the permanent collections.

Curatorial staff will carefully assess the significance and suitability of all potential gifts and purchases.

Limitations on collecting imposed by factors such as staffing, storage and display space and other resources will be taken into account. Please contact us in advance if you wish to discuss a potential donation.

Duty of care

As the custodians of the collections, Newport Museum has a long-term duty of care to the objects.

This means that we are responsible for looking after the collections so that they can be enjoyed by future generations.

Much of this work goes on behind the scenes and includes activities such as preventive conservation (providing an environment where harm to an object by external conditions, like pests or handling, is minimised) and documentation.

Documentation

This duty of care also extends to the background information of objects and it is our responsibility to ensure that the contexts of objects, as well as the objects themselves, are preserved for future generations.

We do this by keeping documentary records of all the objects in the collection.

Every object that enters the collection is given a unique reference number – we call it accession number – which links it to its associated information.

A collections inventory project is underway to ensure that museum records are up to date and that every object is listed in our electronic database. This will enable museum staff to access objects and relevant information easier and ensure a quick response to enquiries.