New Book - Call for Papers: Museums and the Disposals Debate

We invite international submissions to be included in this forthcoming book, which will be published by MuseumsEtc in Autumn 2011.

The book will be edited by Peter Davies, Cultural Policy Advisor to Canterbury City Council, who has a long-standing interest in how strategy and policy can create a more sustainable museum sector. With an interest in disposals born from a growing understanding of the value of collections versus the cost of management, Peter is a museum professional with a decade of experience at both practical and strategic levels.

As museums enter an era of global recession and austerity, where collecting for perpetuity is no longer the norm, and active disposals are as much a part of collections management as accessioning, Museums and the Disposals Debate will explore this increasingly discussed issue, bringing together international guidance, opinion, best practice, and case studies in deaccessioning and disposals policies and practice within museums large and small.

How museums react to their changing role - from public collector to effective manager - and review the purpose and role of collections within their institution, will shape the future of the museum sector. What are the issues in relation to disposals, and how can the benefits be weighed against the challenges and pitfalls?

The book aims to be a timely addition to current deaccessioning and disposals policies, plans and programmes, acting as a valuable advocate, critical friend and information source for museum managers and collection specialists across the sector.

We welcome submissions - of between 2000 to 6000 words - which address how museums can respond to the disposals debate on areas including, but not limited to:

• historical narratives on collections disposals

• the challenges and benefits of disposals

• the new role of disposals in modern collections management

• designing and implementing an effective, practical disposals policy and programme

• ethical, legal and moral implications of disposing of collections

• the repercussions of disposals mismanagement

• public and professional reaction to the disposal of collections

• developing an objective collections review framework

• managing collections-specific (eg archaeology) disposals

• developing sustainable collecting policies and programmes

• influencing and managing public opinion on museum disposals

• reviewing current policies, guidance and programmes

• outcomes (positive and negative) of disposal activities

• consulting with stakeholders on disposal policies and programmes

• case studies of recent or current disposal programmes

Contributions from international professionals who have developed and delivered innovative programmes for the review, rationalisation and disposal of collections from museums of all sizes are particularly encouraged. We are also interested in museums that have made use of nationally-developed policies and guidelines (eg those of the Museums Association and the American Association of Museums) in this field.

If you are interested in being considered as a contributor, please send an abstract (up to 250 words) and a short biography to both the and the publishers by 20 May 2011. Enquiries should also be sent to these addresses. Contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the publication and a discount on more.

The book will be published in both print and digital formats by MuseumsEtc in Autumn 2011.

Confirmed contributors to date include:

AEA Consulting: Adrian Ellis, Director

Collections Trust: Nick Poole, Chief Executive

Institute of Ideas: Dr Tiffany Jenkins, Arts and Society Director

Philip Mould Fine Paintings Ltd: Dr Bendor Grosvenor, Director

UCL Museums & Collections

More information and a PDF version of this Cal may be found at

Deadlines are as follows:

Proposals: due 20 May

Contributors notified: by 25 May

Completed papers: due 22 July

Publication: Autumn


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