About the NMDC
The National Museum Directors' Council represents the leaders of the UK's national collections and major regional museums. Our members are the national and major regional museums in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the National Archives. While our members are funded by government, the NMDC is an independent, non-governmental organisation.
The NMDC was founded in 1929, in anticipation of a Royal Commission recommendation that the national collections should 'coordinate their work and discuss matters of mutual concern'.
Today the NMDC provides its membership with a valuable forum for discussion and debate and an opportunity to share information and work collaboratively.
The NMDC is funded by its membership institutions, the directors of which give their time voluntarily to the organisation.
NMDC’s vision is that all relevant policy makers and opinion formers understand the full value of museums and their collections, and ensure they are adequately funded and intelligently supported to enable optimum contribution to society and maximum public value.
NMDC’s purpose is:
- To act as an advocate on behalf of NMDC members and their collective priorities;
- To act as a voice for NMDC members to Government and other strategic bodies;
- To be proactive in setting and leading the museums and cultural policy agendas;
- To gather, interpret, present and share data and evidence of members’ activity;
- To undertake horizon-scanning and facilitate discussion on issues affecting UK museums;
- To provide a forum for members to discuss issues of common concern and provide opportunities for advice, support and collaboration and for sharing good practice, information and benchmarking.
These priorities apply to NMDC’s work on behalf of its members. Partnerships and relationships between NMDC and other bodies with responsibility for museums are crucial, and NMDC is committed to collaborating with these bodies, supporting them in their work and avoiding duplication of effort.
The current Chair of the NMDC is Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group. As well as chairing NMDC Directors’ and Advisory Committee meetings the NMDC Chair shapes and steers NMDC strategy and advocacy, takes a lead in relations with government and other key stakeholders and acts as spokesperson for the NMDC.
NMDC Advisory Committee
The NMDC Advisory Committee meets three times a year in advance of wider NMDC meetings to discuss current issues and priorities and agree proposals to go to the full membership. Current Advisory Committee members are:
- Janita Bagshawe, Director of Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton
- Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group (Chair)
- Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum
- Dr Kevin Fewster AM FRSA, Director of Royal Museums Greenwich
- Richard Evans, Director of Beamish
- Dr Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums Trust
- Dr Gordon Rintoul CBE, Director, National Museums Scotland
- Iain Watson, Director of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (Vice-Chair)
NMDC Staff Team
A team of three staff manages NMDC's activity:
- Kathryn Simpson, Acting Head of Strategy
- Bethany Reynard, Public Affairs Officer
- David Cole, Administrator