Collections Stewardship Assessment


This assessment focuses on practical, ethical, and strategic collections issues and activities related to the care and management of a museum’s collections per professional practices and standards. It also looks at the collections within the context of the museum’s total operations, plans, and resource allocation.

The results will help the museum—governing authority and staff—increase its knowledge, recognize and mitigate risk, take action, prioritize long-term collections stewardship issues, gain physical and intellectual control of the collections, and write policies and plans.


This assessment may improve ability to:

  • Write a collections plan
  • Raise funds to support the collections
  • Improve collections stewardship
  • Prioritize long-term collections management issues
  • Develop/review/revise collections policies and procedures
  • Manage risk
  • Assess needs in the area of collections management staffing
  • Assess needs in the area of facilities management
  • Provide access to collections
  • Prepare for core document verification, accreditation or re-accreditation


This assessment will examine:

  • Acquisitions & accessioning
  • Deaccessioning & disposal
  • Loans
  • Ethical, cultural, and legal issues
  • Environmental monitoring and control
  • Storage, movement
  • Conservation and preservation
  • Documentation and inventory
  • Emergency planning
  • Collections planning
  • Alignment of collections, resources, and mission
  • Staffing, training, and resource allocation

Like all MAP assessments, this one:

  • Is grounded in the Core Standards
  • Includes Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) issues as they relate to the assessment focus
  • Helps museums look at both functional and strategic aspects of their operations
  • Uses an online platform to move through modules with narrated presentations, resources, and required activities throughout the entire year
  • Requires an internal MAP team to lead the museum and be responsible for the bulk of the online work, required activities, site visit organization and action plans

An important component of each assessment is the MAP Workbook, which contains data gathering questions, team discussion questions, team activities, articles and more.  The museum’s MAP Team works on the workbook throughout the year. Review the Sample Collections Stewardship MAP Workbook Outline to learn more.

Before Applying

  • Review the main MAP Eligibility Requirements.
  • Your institution must have a formal and approved mission statement which has recently been reviewed.
  • Completion of a collections management policy, a draft of this document, is strongly encouraged but not required.
  • Ensure that your institution and key stakeholders are committed to a year-long process of assessment and taking action.

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