SPECTRUM Best Practices in Collections Management Workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce SPECTRUM best-practices in collection management into the community of galleries, museums, archives and libraries (as is often referred to as GLAM) in South Africa. SPECTRUM is an established and internationally recognised standard for collections management. SPECTRUM is applicable to all different types of collections such as museum, library and archival collections, and can be applied in different ways.

All institutions must have some procedures and policies in place and this workshop helps participants examine what they can be doing better. It also deals with how participants can adapt their internal policies and procedures, as well as their forms and registers, to meet international best practice. This workshop provides the high-level structure of SPECTRUM, where procedures are divided into functional groups for both explanation of their role and also for conducting practical group discussions on how they can be applied. These groups include the Physical Procedures of Object Entry, Object Exit and Movement; Ownership Procedures of Acquisition, Deaccession and Disposal; and Rights Management. The procedures of SPECTRUM are interrelated with other procedures and this sometimes represents a challenge to learning and applying these into an institution.


Why SPECTRUM is important

Collections are the foundation of all heritage institutions. Therefore, using established and suitable collection management standards, such as SPECTRUM, is vital for the efficient and effective running of these institutions. SPECTRUM is developed and maintained through collaboration with museum professionals from hundreds of museums around the world. By using the SPECTRUM standard you can ensure that your museum follows best practice in the management and use of collections, in a way that is relevant to your specific resources and ensures your public responsibilities are met.

Who should attend

This workshop is applicable to all heritage professionals who would like to improve or develop their collections management process, and conform to international standards.

Topics to be covered

  • Introduction to the 21 SPECTRUM procedures
  • In depth examination of the 8 Primary SPECTRUM procedures: Object entry; Loans in; Acquisition; Location/ Movement control; Cataloguing; Objects exit; Loans out; Retrospective documentation
  • Best practice in the management and use of collections
  • Best practice in collections management documentation and recording
  • Optimal procedures to ensure excellent workflow
  • Risk management, valuation, insurance, loss and damage
  • Conservation and care – object condition checking


You will obtain a practical understanding of SPECTRUM procedures and their applications within your institution. This course will further demonstrate good methods for collections management documentation and recording, and solutions to manage documentation backlog. The roles and responsibilities of staff for effective collections management will be examined and discussed. How to manage risk and ensure conservation methods are controlled.


Our workshop prices are to be found on the Workshop Pricing and Booking Process page.

Comments from Spectrum Workshop participants:

“I enjoyed it very much and found it very relevant to my area in art curation” — Sophie Schutte (Telkom SA Art Gallery)

“Roger Layton must be complimented on the way he communicates and teaches – he manages to make quite dull information interesting” — Mariss Steyn (National English Literary Museum)

“The workshop is very helpful in making the work environment easy” — Hillary Hendricks (Afrikaans Taal Museum)

“It helped to understand that all departments in the museum work together to help each other, and not as separate units. It also shows that every (unit) is important in the museum, no matter how small the job. Very enriching experience. Thank you” — Basil Mills (National English Literary Museum)

“Very comprehensive facilitation, allowing adequate interaction” — Tseliso Masolane (SeSotho Literary Museum)