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National Collections Program

Strengthening Collections

The National Collections Program (NCP) serves as a principal advocate and advisor to Smithsonian senior leadership, collecting unit directors, and staff on matters relating to collections stewardship. Working with senior management, NCP develops long-term strategies, priorities, policies, and plans to address Institution-wide collections needs. The NCP team develops, administers, and implements Smithsonian collections management policies and standards (Smithsonian Directive 600), including the review and approval of individual Smithsonian collecting unit policies and plans to ensure collections are acquired, maintained, and used according to Smithsonian policy, professional standards, and legal obligations. Providing central leadership and policy oversight, the office addresses challenges and identified deficiencies in collections management and the allocation of central collections care resources.

Strengthening Collaborations

As demonstrated by our various initiatives, NCP recognizes the necessity of coordinated, pan-Institutional strategies to effectively address shared collections needs. For example -- Working with the Digitization Program Office (DPO), NCP co-administers the Collections and Digitization Reporting System (CDRS), gathering unit collections statistical and assessment data to measure progress, set priorities, and inform the allocation of resources for collections care and digitization. Partnering with Smithsonian Facilities (SF), NCP co-manages the Collections Space System (CSS), documenting and monitoring the quality of current collections space conditions across the Institution – guiding Institution and unit-level short and long-term collections space planning, and collections care and facilities capital projects. Through these and other collaborations, NCP strengthens Smithsonian collections stewardship in a pragmatic, strategic, and integrated manner.

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