Today I received the agenda in the post for the TDC artefacts management review task and finish group for the meeting on Monday 27th January. It is without doubt a distant reminder of the demands on TDC members receiving such a detailed document a few days before a meeting with little time to study its contents in detail.It is a case of picking it up and putting down throughout the day.
Of the bits I have read like the collections policy and documentation procedures are very good . As I picked through it line by line I couldn't help thinking this is something that should have been done years ago. The date that comes to mind is 1991 when Colin Wilson the then curator at the Margate museum submitted a report highlighting problems with the TDC owned collection and requesting a collections management review. Up until now this issue has never been properly addressed and has cost TDC a lot of money in the process. In a way I do feel vindicated because in 2005 when I approached the then TDC leadership about my concerns I received assurances that this current document now proves were worthless .These two policies will now ensure the TDC collection will be managed on a professional footing. This is very good news.
I have picked up on a few points in the officers report and on the intro to the two draft policies. Firstly Thanet District Council has made a legal claim to every single item in the Museum that is not a proven loan this includes EKMT assets and unlisted items. Also a loan will only be returned if the loaner has the correct paperwork. Given the museums record on administration in the past I suggest anybody who have made loans in the past start making their inquiries now.
Also the Museum policy is to be all things Margate which I suppose makes sense if it is a Margate Museum, but the facility houses a TDC collection and items from Ramsgate, Broadstairs and the villages .These items do not even get a mention in the report so there has to be some clarification there. I think both Ramsgate and Broadstairs town councils should really take note of this. I do have a few minor points to raise but overall it is a very good report apart from the two points I mentioned.