Care > Plans and Policies


"The cultural significance of a place and other issues affecting its future are best understood by a sequence of collecting and analysing information before making decisions. Understanding cultural significance comes first, then development of policy and finally management of the place in accordance with the policy.

"The policy for managing a place must be based on an understanding of its cultural significance.  

"Policy development should also include consideration of other factors affecting the future of a place such as the owner’s needs, resources, external constraints and its physical condition."

Article 6, Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, 1999, Australia ICOMOS [Bold added.]

"The Oxford English Dictionary puts it more concisely and defines "preservation" as the art of "keeping safe", "keeping alive", "maintaining" and "retaining", while defining a policy simply as: "a course or general plan of action". Therefore, a preservation policy at its most basic, is a plan of action for safe keeping.

"In some of the literature on preservation, the words policy and strategy are often used interchangeably. According to the OED a strategy is "the art of war"; in our case, war against decay and destruction; it is also "the management of an army in a campaign", in other words: the management of all the tools and skills at our disposal to fight against decay. The difference is that a policy, a plan of action, should address the questions of what needs to be preserved, why, for what purpose and for how long, while a strategy addresses the questions of how this should be done and in what order.

Foot, Mirjam M. Building Blocks for a Preservation Policy [download PDF format file], National Preservation Office, The British Library, London, England, 2001. [Bold added.]


Plans and Documentation Specific to Museum Collections, Museum Handbook, Part I: Museum Collections, NPS Museum Handbook, Part I, National Park Service, 1998, page 26.

Plans and Documentation Specific to Museum Collections

  • Scope of Collection Statement
  • Collection Management Plan
  • Annual Inventory of Museum Property
  • Exhibit Plan(s) (including list of objects)
  • Historic Furnishings Report(s)
  • Collection Condition Survey(s)
  • Collection Storage Plan
  • Collections Management Report (Form 10-94)
  • Checklist for Preservation and Protection of Museum Collections

Other Pertinent Resource Management Plans

  • Historic Resource Study
  • Historic Structure Report(s)
  • Inventory and Condition Assessment Program (ICAP)
  • Ethnographic plans
  • Archeological plans
  • Other:

Park Museum Collection Management Procedures

  • Procedures for access and use of museum collection
  • Opening and closing procedures for museum exhibit and storage spaces
  • Housekeeping plans/schedules
  • Park's Emergency Operation Plan (including Structural Fire, Physical Security, Disaster/Emergency Plans)
  • Integrated Pest Management Plan
  • Building/facility cyclical maintenance manuals/schedules

Other Park Procedures and Documents Relevant to Collection Management

  • Construction drawings or blue prints for buildings housing museum collection (visitor centers, storage rooms, furnished historic structures, etc.)
  • Basic operating plan
  • Staffing/organization chart
  • Position description(s) for staff assigned curatorial responsibilities
  • Performance standards for staff assigned curatorial responsibilities and supervisor
  • Current budget
  • Cooperative agreements
  • Project Management Information System (PMIS) Statements
  • Current permits (36 CFR 2.5g), if expected to generate specimens for the museum collection
  • Performance Management Data System (PMDS) entries for collections-related Strategic Plan goals (Ia6, Ib2D, others)
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