Keeping track of everything!
Find out how it all works from our curatorial assistant...
So how do we decide what to collect and how do we acquire items? The Heritage Service has a. This details the collections strengths, gaps, areas where we have an abundance of material, and what our future collecting priorities are. We use this document to guide us when making collecting decisions.
Like many museums, most objects have come from passive collecting - offers of donation from the public. This might include archaeology unearthed by metal detectorists, photographs found whilst clearing an attic or material relating to a Guildford company. Before accepting an object, we write an assessment, looking at things like - 'what condition is it in?', 'do we have similar items already?' and 'does it fill a gap'. Staff meet regularly to discuss new offers. Where we are unable to take an item for the collection, we may recommend it for educational usage or suggest alternative museums. You can find out more by reading ourdocument.
We recently decided to collect only material relating to the Guildford borough, not items from the rest of Surrey. With limited storage space, and gaps in the collection relating to modern Guildford, it is important we have the resources and room to bring Guildford's story up to date. We also plan to develop a more active collecting style - seeking out objects to help tell specific local stories. To achieve this, we aim to use community involvement.