NMDC reports and publications

Museums Matter

October 2015
Museums Matter sets out the case for investment in museums by illustrating how museums of all sizes and scope contribute to eight key public policy priorities across the UK.  Read more.
Download the report

Partnerships

October 2014
This briefing details the breadth and variety of museums' partnership activity. Case studies include loans, touring exhibitions, community engagement projects, research and sharing curatorial knowledge. Read more about NMDC's partnerships work here.
Download the paper

Museums and Tourism

May 2013
This paper details the enormous contribution museums make to the UK tourism industry. Museums are some of the country's most popular tourist destinations - for both domestic and overseas tourists - and visitor numbers have never been so high. For more information about museums and tourism, see here.
Download the paper

The UK Collection

February 2013
This paper looks at the different sorts of loans of objects which take place between museums, their impact and the associated partnership activity which accompanies them. For more information about NMDC's work on partnerships, see here.
Download the paper

World Collections

May 2012
World Collections illustrates the breadth of museums' international work and explores its wider impact supporting economic growth and investment, encouraging cultural exchange and diplomacy.  Read more.
Download the report

Making a difference: the cultural impact of museums

August 2010
This paper by Professor Sara Selwood explores the wide range of impact and influence NMDC members and their projects have on reflecting, exploring and defining cultural heritage and cultural values in the UK.  Read more.
Download the executive summary.
Download the full report.
Download the report appendices.

National Museums - Working in Partnership Across the UK

January 2010
NMDC undertook a survey of its members’ 2008-9 partnership activity to gain a better understanding of the way national and regional museums work together.  The research findings informed development of a set of recommendations for national museums and other sector bodies to improve and develop partnership working.
Download the project summary report.
Download the full report of the partnerships mapping survey and research findings.

Read more in the press release.

Museums Deliver

January 2010
This publication demonstrates the wide-ranging social and economic importance of museums in the UK.  It describes the activities of our museums and their unique role in society from the global stage to the local high-street, and is packed with evidence, case-studies and museum facts and figures.
Download the executive summary.
Download the full report.

Learning to live: Museums, young people and education

May 2009
This publication brings together leading figures from the worlds of culture and education to explore what more museums and educators, working with policymakers and delivery bodies such as schools, can and should be doing, both within and beyond the classroom, to inspire learning and creativity among all young people.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full publication.

Private Giving for the Public Good

April 2008
In April 2008 leaders of Britain’s major cultural institutions launched a new manifesto, Private Giving for the Public Good, opening a nationwide campaign to encourage a culture of giving to the arts and heritage.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report.

Museums and Galleries in Britain: Economic, Creative and Social Impacts

December 2006
The report, jointly commissioned the NMDC and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and written by Tony Travers of the London School of Economics analyses a number of Britain’s leading museums and galleries in terms of visitor numbers, economic impacts, civic functions and contributions to the country’s creativity and educational performance.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report. 
(correction to page 42)

Values and Vision: The Contribution of Culture

June 2006
In June 2006 leading organisations from across the cultural sector joined together for the first time to publish a vision for the future and a plan of action. In this joint document the organisations call for a new settlement with government so that Britain can maintain its position as a world-class culture.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report.

NMDC Cultural Diversity Working Group recommendations

March 2006
The Cultural Diversity Working Group, chaired by Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, was set up in 2004 to advise the National Museums Directors Conference on ways forward in relation to the growing diversity of our culture as a vital issue for the national museums and galleries.
Read more about the Cultural Diversity Working Group.
Download the final report and recommendations.

Attitudes of Parents towards Museums

February 2004
Research by MORI commissioned by the NMDC examining parental attitudes towards the importance of museums as a resource for educating children and the role of museums in providing objective information.
Download the final report.

Manifesto for Museums

March 2004
In March 2004 museums across the country joined together to publish this manifesto, calling for a five-year programme of investment to sustain their current success and build for the future.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report.

The Impacts and the Needs - A summary of findings

March 2004
This document highlights the key findings of the three reports published by the NMDC in 2004 and sets out the funding needs of the national museums.
Read more in the press release.
Download the document.

Valuing Museums

March 2004
This report written by Tony Travers of LSE and Stephen Glaister of Imperial College details the economic, educational and broader cultural impact of the national museums and galleries.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report.

Museums & Galleries: Creative Engagement

March 2004
Written by Ricky Burdett of the LSE Cities Programme, this report uses case studies to illustrate how national museums, libraries and archives engage in a huge range of innovative activities with different communities across the UK, from business and science to youth and fashion.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report.

National Dimensions

March 2004
This report by AEA Consulting examines the many forms of collaboration between national museums and the rest of the sector, noting just how much joint activity is underway at any one time.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report.

Too Much Stuff? Disposals from Museums 

October 2003
This document contributes to the important, but often muted, debate on disposals from museum collections.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report.

Loans Between National and Non-national Museums: New Standards and Practical Guidelines

September 2003
This document aims to facilitate greater access to the national collections.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report.

International Dimensions

June 2002
This report charts for the first time the extensive international activity of the UK national collecting institutions. The report highlights the importance of the National Museums’ contributions to the international arena and the potential for the future.
Read more in the press release.
Download the full report.

A Netful of Jewels: New Museums in the Learning Age

June 1999
This report looks at the potential contribution of museums to the new learning networks.
Download the full report.