Policy and projects

National Museum Scotland
NMDC members are committed to contributing to a thriving, responsible, strategic museum sector right across the UK. NMDC works with members and external partners to drive the development of museum policy.

Significant issues at present include intellectual property and copyright, environmental sustainability of the sector, and cultural policy and spoliation.

We are also interested in sharing skills across the sector - through live events, networks or helping museums adopt best practice in their increasingly important digital presences.

Intellectual property

NMDC shares good copyright practice and also advocates for changes to UK copyright legislation to enable museums to make better use of many works in their collections.

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Environmental sustainability

NMDC recognises that museums need to approach long-term collections care in a way that does not require excessive use of energy, whilst recognising their duty of care to collections.

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Cultural property and spoliation

NMDC works on cultural property issues, ranging from the spoliation of works of art during the Nazi era to enabling museums to acquire significant objects through tax relief schemes.

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Cultural impact

A 2010 paper by Professor Sara Selwood – Making a difference: the cultural impact of museums – explored 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.

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Public Sector Information Directive and Open Data

As of summer 2015, all "public museums" will have to be compliant with the EU Public Sector Information Directive. NMDC has worked with The National Archives to ensure the terms of the Directive are suitable for UK museums and that the Directive is communicated in a way which is clear. NMDC has produced guidance on whether a museum may be subject to the Directive, and also what the Directive means specifically for museums.

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Striking the Balance between public access and commercial reuse

This report commissioned by the NMDC from the Collections Trust examines how museums are balancing the twin aims of maximising public access to their digital content and promoting their own financial sustainability.

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