A British Council report in 2014 highlighted a critical need for skills training and development for staff in museums to protect, safeguard and share the country’s unique cultural heritage.
The Myanmar government articulated their interest in developing the skills of museum and heritage sector workers for conservation and tourism purposes in the Myanmar: Tourism Master Plan 2013-2020.
The vision of the International Museum Academy Myanmar is to provide emerging museum leaders from around Myanmar with the knowledge and skills necessary to increase the growth and sustainability of galleries and museums in their regions.
Participants gain exclusive access to world class collections, network with museum and gallery professionals and develop strategic plans for their institutions.
Courses offer an innovative mix of seminars with leading UK museum professionals, creative workshops, and hands-on sessions and ‘behind the scenes’ tours.
The programme provides a collaborative environment for sharing best practice and exploring common challenges. Since 2015, the International Museum Academy initiated skills training in different subjects including collections management, documentation, exhibition design, leadership, policy development and curriculum development.
Facts about IMA by January 2019
Number of trainings: 16 workshops
Number of Beneficiaries: 200 +
Toolkits developed: Information management, collection management policy, Preventive conservation
Number of beneficiary museums: 33
Name of UK institutions involved: University of Brighton, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, University of Leicester, Cardiff University and Collection Trust
Collection Information management
The International Museum Academy Myanmar programme consisted of Collections Information Management courses in 2017 and 2018. It was delivered by the Collections Trust trainers working with the British Council and specialist museum advisors from Myanmar.
The aims of the Collections Information Management programme were to:
- Equip participants with the knowledge and resources to create and maintain accountable museum documentation systems, so that their collections information can be maintained, used and shared.
- Support the participants to establish the four major museums, National Museum (Yangon), National Museum (Nay Pyi Taw), Mandalay Cultural Museum and Bagan Archaeological Museum as ‘Centres of Excellence’ for best practices in collections information management within their regions.
- Empower the participants to establish and lead a collections information management network to support regional museums to implement the Spectrum Primary Procedures.
The collection information management toolkit which came out from the course are to support the museums’ professionals to develop policies, procedures and plans to support the documentation of their collections. The toolkit is downloadable here.
Exposure to international best practice in conservation is essential for development of the museum sector in Myanmar. Two training programmes in March 2018 and January 2019 were developed to introduce core concepts of preventive conservation with some key practical aspects related to labelling and marking and housekeeping. The training was informed by and referred to international standards and charters and contained elements to appeal to a range of learning styles, with provision of information, active learning, group discussion, planning and practical skills training. The content of the training was aligned to the skill needs in storage, housekeeping, pest control light monitoring and control.