In 2014 the British Council Cultural Skills Unit undertook research into the cultural skills gaps and shortages across Myanmar’s arts sector which was followed by a comprehensive assessment of skills needs of Myanmar’s museum sector in 2015. These reports highlighted a critical need for skills training and development for staff in museums to protect, safeguard and share the country’s unique cultural heritage and improved technical knowledge in collection management, policies and procedures was identified as a priority skills area. 

The first museum skills development course on Exhibition Development and Collections Display was delivered at the Nay Pyi Taw National Museum in March 2015 by an expert from the British Museum to 22 mid-level museum professionals representing 12 museums across the country.

To help support the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture’s priority to safeguard and promote cultural heritage and to build relationships between individuals and institutions in the UK and in Myanmar, British Council Cultural Skills Unit in partnership with Collections Trust and National Museum Myanmar, developed and launched in February 2017 International Museum Academy: Myanmar 2017, a five-day training and toolkit in Collections Information Management and Documentation. 

It was run by two museum experts from the Collections Trust and participated by 70 mid-senior Myanmar museum professionals from 40 museums museum managers from across the country. In 2018, Collections Trust again delivered three days mentoring course “Managing Collections and Collections Information” to 40 museum professionals at National Museum Yangon, National Museum Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay Cultural Museum and Bagan Archaeological Museum in partnership with the Ministry of Religious Affair and Culture. The course was to follow up and mentor on implementation of the previous year training.

Three days IMA Myanmar Research programme was also delivered by four different UK partners in partnership with the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture to explore more on the needs of Myanmar Museum Sector for the future in 2018 as well. The research programmes focused on four topics with the support of 60 museum professionals across the country. Research on “Museum Accreditation Standard” is led by Susie Hillhouse from National Trust for Scotland, Leadership and Organisational Design by Alex Dawson, Heritage Consultant from Collections Care Consultancy and Museum Studies Diploma Course Development by University of Leicester.

UK trainers from Collections Trust and Myanmar Museum Consultant leading a practical session on Documenting Collections at Yadanabon Room, National Museum Myanmar in Yangon. ©

Photo by Boothee © Astrophoto

Course resources and toolkit (both English and Myanmar version) of International Museum Academy can be downloaded here.