Need signposting to a useful resource? Here you will find various links, reports, presentations, sample/example documents and templates, all free to access and use.
Just click on the 'show tags' button on the left under the calendar to filter the information to your requirements.
Arts Council England (ACE) champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. They support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries. In October 2011, ACE took on responsibility for the Renaissance programme, which Museum Development is part of.
ACE manage the national museum Accreditation Scheme which encourages museums to develop and raise standards.
Museums Association is a national independent membership organisation. They have produced the museum's 'Code of Ethics' as well as many other papers and articles. They lead on many national initiatives in best practice, hold training, and also run the Associateship of the Museums Association scheme for museum professionals wishing to develop their career.
Association of Independent Museums (AIM) is a membership organisation for all types of independent museums.
The National Archives provide very useful information for those with archives in your museum. Don't forget to look up your local County Record Office.
Our MDO colleagues in the South West, as part of the South West Federation, have a very comprehensive website full of useful resources.
The Museum Development team in the East, Share East, also have a useful selection of resources.
Heritage Counts 2017: Heritage and Society
Looking for evidence to support advocacy or funding applications? The report Heritage and Society is produced each year by Historic England on behalf of the Historic Environment Forum (HEF). The objective of this document is to provide bite-sized facts and figures that demonstrate the importance of heritage to society. These facts can be extracted and used by anyone who seeks to understand and evidence the social values of heritage in order to make the case for heritage.
Derby Museums Human-Centred Design and Co-production Handbook
Handbook produced by Derby Museums to support the use of a co-production approach and human-centred design in museum development.
Getting Started with Commissioning: a toolkit for arts and culture organisations in the South East
Creative Future shares advice for adapting to the shift from traditional grants to tendering and commissioning.
Event Planning Template
Useful template to assist you in organising events e.g briefings, networking events and exhibition openings.
Funding for International Travel
List of sources of funding for international travel published by ICOM UK.
Partnership Agreement Template from Touring Exhibitions Group
TEG is pleased to announce the launch of a new Partnership Agreement Template. This resource is designed to assist organisations to develop a partnership agreement, to support any exhibition, education or other project they are embarking on.
Touring Exhibitions Group online resouces for members
Publications and research available for download by members including case studies, past issues of 'Exchange,' and research reports.
Age UK’s Wellbeing Index Summary
Reseach indicating that taking part in ‘creative activities’ such as the arts has the most direct influence in improving a person’s wellbeing in later life. The activities that older people took part in included dancing, playing a musical instrument, visiting museums, photography, singing, painting and writing.
Materials from WIRP Workshop: Developing International Partnerships October 2016
Materials from the workshop jointly facilitated by South East Museum Development Programme with the Working Internationally Regional Project at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, 5 October 2016.
How to Plan a Collaborative Project... in four easy steps
This short guide from the Share Academy aims to provide museum professionals and university academics with tips for planning a collaborative project across the sectors.
Partnership Working in the Arts and Humanities: A Guide to Good Practice
This good practice guide is for use by both arts and humanities researchers and potential user communities (for example businesses, social enterprises, policy organisations) who wish to embark on or are already working in a partnership project.
The Art of Partnering
The Art of Partnering is the final report of a Cultural Enquiry conducted by King's College London in collaboration with the BBC, which explored the role partnership plays in enabling publicly funded cultural institutions to enhance the quality and diversity of their work across the UK. The report was published on 13 October 2015.
Keep it legal - volunteering risk toolkit
Publication by Volunteering England to help organisations understand and manage risks associated with working with volunteers
Rural Touring in a Nutshell
An introduction to rural touring and some of the practical considerations to bear in mind.
Inspiring Impact is a UK-wide collaborative programme, working with the charity sector to help organisations know what to measure and how to measure.
Five Ways to Wellbeing
This document, produced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on behalf of Foresight, sets out 5 actions to improve personal wellbeing: connect; be active; take notice; keep learning; give.
Creative & Credible: How to evaluate arts and health projects
Creative & Credible supports arts and health organisations and practitioners to: engage with evaluation creatively; improve your practice; make well-informed spending decisions; strengthen the evidence base around the benefits and impacts of arts and health projects. Creative & Credible was created by Willis Newson and The University of the West of England, with funding from ESRC.
Using museums to engage young people in art and design activities: toolkit for youth and community project workers from V & A Design for Life
This toolkit contains information, well-tested strategies and activities that you can use with young people in museums. The contents will help you arrange a visit to a museum or gallery and use it as a starting point for art and design activities. The ideas and strategies are derived from the experience of a three-year national project, Design for Life, led by the Victoria and Albert Museum.
12 Tips to Help you with Networking
Networking is an important part of building successful partnerships with other museums, cultural organisation or business. Here are a few basic tips to help you prepare for your next networking opportunity.
New curriculum pack for the environment
A new resource for those museums working with schools on environmental education.
The Creative Museum - Analysis of selected best practices from Europe
The Creative Museum project is a three-year international project about opening museums to meet people, to speak with each other and become inspired by the collections in an innovative way. The case studies included in this best practice guide have been collected by partners in the project to provide a snapshot of activity across Europe, from the partner countries - Croatia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK.
EU funding 'top tips'
A helpful EU funding top tips guide, including key steps for accessing European funding and how to develop European project ideas successfully. Developed as part of the South East Museum Development Programme's Hampshire Solent European Funding Project.
EU funding ‘jargon buster’
A helpful guide to terminology used in EU funding stream documentation. Developed as part of the South East Museum Development Programme's Hampshire Solent European Funding Project.
Existing Trustee Recruitment Resources
If you are looking to recruit new Trustees to your Board, here are a few resources and links you may find useful.
Touring Exhibition Group - Economics of Touring Exhibitions Resources
Results of a two-year research and training programme, titled Economics of Touring Exhibitions: Models for Practice, exploring the economics of touring exhibitions in the UK today
Cultural Learning Alliance
The Cultural Learning Alliance is a collective voice working to ensure that all children and young people have meaningful access to culture
Share Academy has been researching, supporting and promoting partnership working between the Higher Education and Museums since 2012 with the support of Arts Council England. Share Academy reports, advice and guidance on museum and Higher Education collaborations can be downloaded at the Share Academy website.
Creative Communities Project Resources
The Connected Communities Projects have produced a wide variety of resources from reports to films. Many of these resources are available through the links on this page. Individual project websites are also a great place to look for resources and further information - you can access them through the Creative Communities Project Pages.
Beyond the Creative Campus: Reflections on the evolving relationship
This booklet summarises and critically reflects on discussions and ideas emerging from a two year research network project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) entitled “Beyond the Campus: Connecting Knowledge and Creative Practice Communities Across Higher Education and the Creative Economy”.
Connected Communities Heritage Network (CCHN)
Connected Communities Heritage Network (CCHN) is funded by the AHRC to provide a forum and support for both academics and community partners working on Connected Communities Heritage Projects. The network's website aims to help bring together information, news and contact details for anyone involved in heritage work to access.
Where can I find European project partners?
Resources and tools to help you to find EU partners for your museum's international work.
Materials from South of England Museums and Mentoring Conference 25 February 2016
Materials from the conference, organised by the South West Museum Development Programme, the South East Museum Development Programme, and the HLF Catalyst Inspiring a Culture of Philanthropy Programme at Salisbury Arts Centre on 25 February 2016.
What Works Centre for Wellbeing
The What Works Centre for Wellbeing aims to improve the wellbeing of the people in the UK by bringing together the best evidence, making it easy to use and easier to make. The Centre's website hosts research documents, research guidance and policy discussions.
Age of Creativity
Age of Creativity is a national platform for everyone who believes that creativity can support older people to enjoy better health, wellbeing, and quality of life. Find inspiration for your work, opportunities to develop your practice and resources to support your expertise. You can upload and share your own information with the network and you will also receive regular updates by email.
Arts for health and wellbeing: an evaluation framework
This document from Public Health England provides effective ways to document and evaluate arts projects and programmes that seek to improve health and wellbeing.
Museums for Health and Wellbeing: A Preliminary Report from the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing
Museums for Health and Wellbeing: A Preliminary Report from the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing. This report describes the wealth of activity around health, wellbeing and social care that museums and galleries are already offering across the UK. In order to understand this emerging field of practice, a scoping exercise was undertaken by the Alliance between September 2015 – February 2016 to map health and wellbeing activity across the UK museum sector. Due to the magnitude of current work and the speed of growth, the results presented in this report represent the tip of the iceberg of work in this field. The results of this research are available on the Alliance website which contains over 200 resources and a searchable database.
Mind, body, spirit: How Museums Impact Health and Wellbeing
This publication reports the findings from a year-long action research project funded by Arts Council England and initiated by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries based in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. It sets out to show how museums are well placed to respond to changes in public health, using their collections to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, to counter health inequalities within communities, and contribute positively to the goals of public health bodies.
National Alliance for Museums Health and Wellbeing
The National Alliance for Museums, Health & Wellbeing is a place where information about museums and health can be shared; to improve existing practice, help build resilience and provide resources and support for those individuals and organisations working in this area of activity. The Alliance is funded by Arts Council England.
Effective Management of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) from Museum Development Yorkshire
This is a copy of the resources and guidance published by Museum Development Yorkshire in December 2015.
Share Academy: Guidance on Planning and Managing Projects
This download from the Share Academy aims to provide museum professionals and university academics with guidance on how to project manage museum-Higher Education collaborations.
Share Academy: Guidance on developing a Memorandum of Understanding
This download from the Share Academy aims to provide museum professionals and university academics with guidance on how to develop a Memorandum of Understanding as a mutually beneficial agreement for museum-Higher Education collaborations.
Initiating Cross-Sector Partnerships... in four easy steps
This short guide from the Share Academy project aims to provide museum professionals and university academics with tips for initiating cross-sector partnerships.
Archive of Historic England Research Publications
Historic England's Research Report series includes research carried out by Historic England (formerly English Heritage), as well as work we have funded other organisations to carry out on our behalf.
First hand account of Accreditation Assessment
Accreditation Verification Visits – a two part article about what to expect (first published by Emuse London, 2013)
How teachers find and use online resources
An Arts Council England report on 'How teachers find and use online resources' by Matt Locke, Chris Unitt & Eylan Ezekial www.Storythings.com.
Cultural Education Profile tool from Arts Council England
The Cultural Education Profile tool on the Arts Council England website is designed to provide organisations with easy access to a wide variety of data that will support thinking about local investment in culture and education for children and young people aged 0-19.
Top Tips for Reviewing Security - Alf Longhust, 2015
A museum seeking Arts Council England Accreditation must obtain security advice for stored and exhibited collections at least every five years, and earlier, if needed. It must plan to act on the advice given. The following guidance is given to assist museums with the process.
Emergency Plan: Business Continuity - Making it Work
Emergency Plan: Business Continuity - Making it Work. Guidance note developed and shared by the Hampshire Solent ‘Emergency Preparedness' Peer Development Group.
Disaster Planning Resources List
Disaster Planning Resources List. Collated and shared by the Hampshire Solent ‘Emergency Preparedness' Peer Development Group. This list is compiled to assist in locating resources for disaster planning.
Disaster Plan Table Top Exercise Instructions
Disaster Plan Table Top Exercise Instructions. Resource developed and shared by the Hampshire Solent ‘Emergency Preparedness' Peer Development Group. The purpose of the table top exercise is to: run through potential scenarios which may affect a particular museum or organisation; instil confidence within individual team members regarding their own role in the event of an emergency; identify flaws or omissions within the organisation’s Emergency Plan.
Emergency Planning Basic Checklist
Emergency Planning Basic Checklist. Disaster Planning Resources List. Collated and shared by the Hampshire Solent ‘Emergency Preparedness' Peer Development Group. This checklist aims to supplement your Emergency Plan. It highlights the areas which should be regularly reviewed to ensure the effectiveness of any emergency response.
Insurance for Museums
MLA good practice guidance booklet on insuring museums. Published 2004. Covers: The Insurance Market; Risk Management; Insurance and Risk Management; Different Ways of Insuring; Understanding the Cover; Areas of Risk and Risk Solutions.
Sources of Funding for Museums Staff: list from the Association of Art Historians
The AAH promotes the professional practice and public understanding of Art History. They have collated this list of organisations which offer funding for individuals.
Heritage Funding Helpline
Pose a question to a fundraising expert, or gain help with reviewing an application and receive fundraising advice as and when you need it.
Catalyst: Inspiring a Culture of Philanthropy Resources
Fundraising resources generated by the Catalyst: Inspiring a Culture of Philanthropy project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Includes training event materials, links and tools. Topics include: communicating with donors; developing a case for support; fundraising strategies; donor segmentation.
2014 Arts Award Supporter Starter Kit
Trinity College has launched this revised Starter Kit for organisations wanting to become Arts Award Supporters. There is also a new website aimed specifically at Arts Award Supporters.
AIM Advocacy Toolkit
This new AIM Advocacy Toolkit, supported by Arts Council England, comprises an impact evaluation/assessment framework, which has been tested using evidence from a small number of AIM member museums. The toolkit has been designed to help you measure your own social and environmental impacts and it includes a blank template for your own use.
Symposium: Children and World War 1 - programme
This symposium entitled CHILDREN & WORLD WAR ONE: myths, images and engagement will take place on Thursday 23 October at the University of Worcester.
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme! - A Guide to Fundraising for Small Organisations
This report was written by nfpSynergy to try and help organisations think about their fundraising with greater realism and to improve their chances of success. It is aimed at small organisations, those (however large) who are just starting to think about raising more voluntary income or anybody else who finds it useful.
Instititute of Fundraising guidance and resources
Fundraising guides (looking at everything from fundraising for individuals, Gift Aid, data protection and solicitation statements through to raffles, auctions and public collections...) 'Five Minute Fundraiser' videos, downloads and links to useful external websites relevant to each fundraising subject area such as events, corporate partnerships and direct marketing.
Supporting Discover and Bronze Arts Award in Museums
Two leaflets produced in Cornwall to support Discover and Bronze Arts Award in museums. Please note that they need to be printed and folded to make sense!
Arts Award & Museums - a Case Study
In 2013/14 a group of museums in Cornwall delivered a 12 month programme designed to increase museums’ understanding of and engagement with Arts Award (supported by Arts Council Strategic Support Funds). This paper provides an outline of what they did.
List of alternative funders
A few suggestions of other organisations you may like to consider when seeking funding.
Painting Conservation training - handouts
Handouts on painting conservation delivered on behalf of CSI as part of the Sussex Museums Group remedial conservation project across Surrey, East & West Sussex, Kent & Medway.
Book & Paper Conservation training - handouts
Powerpoint presentation and supporting handouts from Ruth Stevens on conservation of Books & Paper. Delivered by Ruth on behalf of CSI as part of the Sussex Museums Group remedial conservation project across Surrey, East & West Sussex, Kent & Medway.
Textile Conservation training - handouts
Powerpoint presentation from Zenzie Tinker on textile conservation. Delivered by Zenzie on behalf of CSI as part of the Sussex Museums Group remedial conservation project across Surrey, East & West Sussex, Kent & Medway.
Archaeological Objects Conservation training - handouts
Powerpoint presentation and supporting handouts from Dana Goodburn-Browns on conservation of Archaeological Objects. Delivered by Dana as part of the Sussex Museums Group remedial conservation project across Surrey, East & West Sussex, Kent & Medway.
Cultural Resources for Schools
A database of teaching resources for creative and cultural education. The materials collected here come from some of the nation’s finest arts organisations, museums and education specialists. They are designed to generate creative new ideas and inspire teachers of subjects at Key Stage 1 - 5 across the national curriculum.
MLA guidance: Insurance for Museums
Guidance covering the insurance market, brokers, loss adjusters, risk management, different ways of insuring, understanding the cover etc.
New National Curriculum
A link to the new National Curriculum pages on the government's Department for Education website.
First World War teacher's planning resources
Resources and handouts from a teacher's networking and CPD day held at Dover Castle in November 2013 led by the South East Grid for Learning Associates.
Feasibility Study into Collaborative Purchasing of Goods and Services by Museums
This study was produced for York Museums Trust and Museum Development Programme in Yorkshire.
Archaeological Archive Deposition Policy from Renaissance Yorkshire
Archaeological Archive Deposition Policy for Museums in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Energy Action Group
In the West Midlands a number of museums are taking practical action to introduce energy-efficient steps to reduce their bills and ‘green’ their projects at the same time. Kenneth Shaw describes what DTA Wales’ Energy Buying Group is doing for them.
Arts Award Guide 2013
A guide to the Arts Award scheme which is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England working with 10 regional Bridge organisations.
Shifting Perspectives: Opening up museums and galleries to blind and partially sighted people
This helpful book identifies approaches to key aspects of service delivery which can help improve access to museums and galleries for blind and partially sighted people. It was produced as part of CultureLink, a joint programme by RNIB and the MLA to enable blind and partially sighted people to have greater access to museums and heritage sites and play a greater role in the Cultural Olympiad, in 2012.
Welcoming your blind and partially sighted customers
RNIB have written this factsheet especially for leisure organisations, including museums, to give a better understanding of how to make your services more accessible to blind and partially sighted customers.
Promoting your museum's access and facilities to people with disabilities
If you have worked to make your museum accessible for disabled visitors, then make sure you let people know. Where can you promote your museum to people with disabilities? Here are some websites that give information on arts and heritage venues with disabled access. Some charge for listings, others are free.
UCL Collections Review Toolkit
This toolkit has been put together as a practical guide to help you review your museum collection. It documents the Collections Review process carried out by UCL Museums & Collections from 2007 to 2009, and contains instructions and tips on how to adapt our method for use at your own collection.
Disposal from Museum Collections toolkit and guidance 2014
This new Disposal Toolkit replaces the widely-used Museums Association’s 2008 version. As part of this, additional guidance on financially motivated disposal has also been developed and published by UK partners, based on agreed sector ethics, legal advice and Accreditation case law.
Guidance on accesible toilets
Recommendations and links. Based on notes provided by Cassie Herschel-Shorland, Access and Museum Design Consultant.
Josie Gale - FWW Centenary Presentation
Presentation from Josie Gale, (Centenary Programme Museum Liaison Officer for English Regions) describing her role at the Imperial War Museum and about the Imperial War Museum's First World War Centenary Partnership.
Online Museum Training: Organising your Collections Store
This training video from Museums Australia Victoria demonstrates ways in which you can organise your collection store. Using examples from the Koorie Heritage Trust and the Victoria Police Museum, a series of photographs showcase best practice techniques.
Online Museum Training: Photographing Collection Items
This training video from Museums Australia Victoria demonstrates ways in which you can use basic equipment to photograph your collection items for documentation and digitisation purposes.
Online Museum Training: Creating a Small Exhibition
Creating a small themed exhibition is a great way to showcase a particular story from your collection without having to rethink your permanent exhibition space. This video from Museums Australia will illustrate how you can create a small one cabinet themed exhibit, or a series of cabinets to create an exhibition.
VisitEngland Market Research
VisitEngland publishes useful research into tourism and leisure markets that museums can use both to inform their planning and to provide evidence for advocacy and funding applications. Available reports cover a wide range of topics including: future domestic leisure trends, the impact of the economic downturn on tourism behaviour; visitor satisfaction; and the potential of the 'staycation' phenomenon.
Basic Access Checklist
A 3-page tick-box check list to start you on the right track on assessing access issues in your museum. This check list is for guidance only it does not constitute a full access audit.
Quick Access Checklist for Volunteer-based Museums
Based on MLA Access for All Self-Assessment Toolkit. This checklist is not definitive; there are always more things organisations can do to improve their services and practices. What follows however is a series of questions for you to consider so your organisation is as positive as possible in serving the widest range of people.
Thinking about starting a museum?
Discussion guide and workbook on museums and heritage project published by Museums Alberta. Museums protect our heritage for the future but too often they are opened without the resources or commitment needed to be self-sustaining.There are many ways to preserve and share your heritage that are alternatives to starting a museum. This booklet aims to help you to make an informed decision about which model best suits your community.
The Opportunity of Devolved Governance for Museums, Libraries and Archives
This 2010 paper is intended to act as a think piece to stimulate debate around the concept of devolved governance for museums, libraries and archives. It outlines the range of devolution models that MLA considers applicable to museums, libraries and archives and the potential it considers such models offer to the sector.
Governance Options Appraisal, Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives
An example of a governance options appraisal, conducted for a local authority.
Briefing on the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
Article by James Carleton and Rebecca Fry of Farrer & Co on Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), the new corporate vehicle designed exclusively for and available only to charities, published in the Spring 2013 issue of Historic House: The Historic Houses Association Magazine.
Charity Commission publication RR10: Museums and Art Galleries
Provides guidance on the need for a museum or art gallery to satisfy a criterion of merit in order to be recognised as charitable.
Delivering Culture and Sport More Efficiently
Guidance from the Local Government Association about new ways of delivering culture and sport services. Includes guides on externalising services, social enterprise, devolved governance for museums, libraries and archives and transfer of local authority heritage assets.
Donation Boxes in Museums
This AIM Quick Guide will support you with the box design, placement and promotion of your donation boxes, plus it offers tips on donation amounts and Gift Aid too.
CultureHive is a free resource to help you discover and share best practice in cultural marketing and fundraising, managed by the Arts Marketing Association.
Culture Segments is a sector-specific segmentation system for culture and heritage organisations. Its objective is to provide the sector with a shared language for understanding the audience, with a view to targeting them more accurately, engaging them more deeply, and building lasting relationships. This guide introduces the Culture Segments system, and explains each segment’s motivations and habits, allowing you to begin applying it in your own marketing work. By Morris Hargreaves McIntyre via CultureHive.
Recruiting volunteers - advice from KnowHow NonProfit
Guidance on what you need to do before you recruit and the the process you need to go through to find the best volunteers for your organisation.
Arts Award case study - Project Dinosaur
The aim of this project was to connect the Museum of Natural History to a group of young people who would not otherwise be able to access its collections. By building Arts Award into the project, it enabled young people to build on their existing skills and gain accreditation during their stay in hospital.
Cultural Commissioning Resources from Know How Non Profit
The Cultural Commissioning Programme has collated a range of resources for those wanting to engage in public service commissioning and for commissioners such as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, NHS and others wanting to work with arts and cultural providers. Lots of useful information for arts and cultural organisations wanting to engage in public service commissioning (also for public service commissioners wishing to use arts and cultural providers to secure better outcomes) is presented on the Know How Non Profit website.
Cultural Commissioning Resources from NCVO
The Cultural Commissioning Programme has collated a range of resources for those wanting to engage in public service commissioning and for commissioners such as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, NHS and others wanting to work with arts and cultural providers. The resources include guidance and case studies and are presented on the NCVO website.
Evaluation Planning Toolkit
Evaluation is a way to help you understand and show others whether your work has met or exceeded your expectations. Evaluation planning should be built in at the beginning of your project planning. This toolkit published by Essex Museum Development and prepared for them in 2015 by Pippa Smith of Handling the Past, provides guidance and templates to help museums to evaluate their projects effectively.
Check It Out Toolkit
'Check it out', A toolkit to assess the impact of Volunteer Development Agencies. This toolkit is designed to help volunteer development agencies (VDAs) assess the effects of their work. It is based around six core functions of volunteering infrastructure.
Dance & Museums Working Together Symposium Report
Report from a symposium held by the Horniman and Trinity Laban in November 2014, funded by Arts Council England. Report authored by Emma McFarland of eMc arts.
Materials from South of England Museums and Mentoring Conference 26 February 2015
Materials from the conference, organised by the South West Museum Development Programme, the South East Museum Development Programme the HLF Catalyst Inspiring a Culture of Philanthropy Programme and the Museums Association at Salisbury Museum on 26 February 2015.
Arts Commissioning Toolkit
Arts and commissioning toolkit produced by Royal Opera House Bridge, Artswork and Kent County Council.