Initiated by the findings of an internal collections study of Smithsonian collections in 2005 and the Heritage Health Index nation-wide survey, the Institution renewed its commitment to developing and implementing new strategies aimed to strategically improve collections care and management in a pragmatic manner. To address the challenges and opportunities associated with the management of the national collections, Smithsonian senior leadership established the first-ever Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee (SCAC).
Chaired by the National Collections Program, SCAC assists in establishing a framework for setting Institutional priorities for collections management and fulfilling defined collections stewardship responsibilities with an integrated, pan-Institutional approach. An active advocate of collections stewardship, the Committee promotes and facilitates pragmatic, professional, and collaborative initiatives to support the Smithsonian’s commitment to the care and preservation of Smithsonian collections. Central collections care funding, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee, provides critical resources for the highest priority collections management needs throughout the Institution to improve the overall stewardship of Smithsonian collections.
Collections and Digitization Reporting System | CDRS
In collaboration with the Digitization Program Office (DPO), the National Collections Program co-administers the Collections and Digitization Reporting System (CDRS) to facilitate coordinated, efficient input of collections data across the Institution. The information gathered by CDRS contextualizes collections to aid in setting priorities, inform unit collections stewardship planning, and measure progress towards providing standards of care and access to collections. CDRS is also the primary data gathering source for the Smithsonian’s annual collections statistics, which documents acquisitions, deaccessions, loans, reference inquiries, and visitors of collections.
Collections Space System | CSS
Partnering with Smithsonian Facilities (SF), the National Collections Program co-administers the Collections Space System (CSS) to collect data on existing collections space conditions across the Institution. Data gathered by the CSS documents the physical state of collections space through the categories of construction, environment, storage equipment, fire safety, and security to inform short and long-term facilities capital, real estate, and collections care projects.