Collection management – University of Copenhagen

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SNM - English > Collections > Collection management

Collection management

The collections of the Natural History Museum of Denmark are managed by the museum’s curators, the collections coordinator and collection managers in collaboration with the Head of collections. The Collection section is responsible for the practical day-to-day management of the collections, while the curators are responsible for the scientific management.

Scientific curators

The curators conduct collection-based research and use a substantial amount of their non-research time on scientific curation of their respective collections. Curators are normally specialists within the subjects they manage, and have academic and historical insight into their curated collections. Based on the strategy for each collection, curators are expected to assess the research and exhibition potentials of their collection, and are responsible for the management and enrichment of the collection through collections, exchanges, sending out of specimens for specialist identification, and invitations to outside specialists.

(Photo: Birgitte Rubæk)

Curators are responsible for the scientific training of collection managers, conservators and preparators, scientific guidance of visitors and students, and for the growth and quality of the associated collection databases.

Furthermore, the scientific curators are also responsible for loans; including approval, selection of specimens, and recalls. They also preside of deaccessions of collection material, the systematic disposition of each collection, as well as sorting and identification of specimens.

Finally, curators take care of scientific communications of the collections, including inquiries from the public. They are also scientific consultants for the museums exhibitions, communications department, and as scientific resources for the relevant parts of the amateur natural history community within botany, geology and zoology in Denmark.

Collection managers

The museum’s conservators and collection managers are responsible for the practical day-to-day management of the collections. They treat and preserve specimens which enter into and are present in the collections; labelling, refilling of alcohol and glycerine etc.

The collection managers are also responsible for the physical facilities for storage (layout, furniture and materials), rearrangement and organisation of specimens, setting out specimens for visiting researchers, loans, teaching etc. including proper packaging and sending out of loans.