Territory Stories

Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs



Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs

Other title

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan; Internal review of MAGNT. Final report March 2004


Morgan, Gary


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




"This Review has looked at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory’s outputs relative to benchmark museum and art gallery activities and outputs around Australia and relative to international trends in museum practice. This Review has also considered possible service outcomes set against three funding scenarios." - Executive summary


This review was commissioned by Risk Management Services of the Department of the Chief Minister for the Northern Territory, on behalf of the Department of Community Development, Sport and Cultural Affairs. The review was put to Tender in October 2004, with the Tender awarded in November 2004. - Introduction; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Executive summary -- Part A: Introduction - Background -- Outputs of this review. Part B: Outputs of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory - A comparison of the MAGNT outputs in activities of collection development and management, public programs and research relative to those of other state museums and galleries - A discussion of the MAGNT outputs relative to national and international trends in museums and galleries - A consideration of the scientific focus of the MAGNT in terms of a) its management and outcomes relative to other museums and b) its contribution to Northern Territory economic activity and Government programs - A comparison of per square metre exhibition costs at the MAGNT relative to other institutions - A comparison of the acquisition budget of the MAGNT relative to other institutions. Part C: Possible budget scenarios - A discussion of three budget scenarios for the MAGNT with their consequent service outcomes. Part D: Summary of recommendations. Part E: Sources and acknowledgements. Part F: Appendices 1-8




Museums -- Northern Territory -- Public opinion; Museums -- Evaluation; Public relations -- Museums -- Northern Territory

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



xviii, 124 pages ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/458000; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/457995

Page content

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan 14 collections acquired from other sources such as DBIRD (Fisheries) and DIPE (Parks and Wildlife). Consideration is being given now to a fuller valuation of the entire MAGNT collection, in consultation with the Valuer General. It can be expected that the monetary value will be at least some tens of millions of dollars (market value and/or replacement value). The scientific, cultural and historical values of the collections cannot be expressed in dollar terms of course. Generally speaking, the very large collections held by the older institutions are valued at the highest monetary value. The older museums and galleries of Australia have been acquiring (through purchase, collection or donation) collection items over more than a century, while the MAGNT is a very young institution. The capacity of the MAGNT to purchase significant works is and has been very limited. The extremely high valuation of the NGA collection reflects the very considerable resources available to that institution to develop a high value and high profile collection. The acquisition capacity of the MAGNT relative to some other institutions is discussed further in Section 7. The degree and nature of care required by the collection items is similarly variable. Maintaining a large alcohol-stored collection, a collection of Aboriginal bark paintings, a collection of wooden or bone implements and a collection of art works on paper each has its own peculiarities and challenges. The more diverse the collection held by an institution, the more various will be the collection management environments and techniques. The MAGNT, as a highly multi-disciplinary museum/gallery, must be able to address the collection storage and conservation needs of a very diverse range of objects. The MAGNT has a Collection Policy (1994 policy reviewed in 2002, and new Policy approved by Board in February 2003). This policy has sub-policies addressing Collection Development, Collection Management and Collection Access. The policies in turn inform several procedural documents, for collection development, management and access (all in draft version, dated 30 June 2004). This approach and documentation is consistent with benchmark museum practice. In the view of the Consultant, the documents are generally appropriate and adequate to meet the needs of the organisation, and the documentation can be regarded as quite comprehensive. There are certainly large museums with less comprehensive collection policy and procedures. Nonetheless, they should continue to be subject to review and confirmation, as well as monitoring as to their consistent application. One recommendation here is that a process of regular collection inventory be included as an audit function within the Collection Policy as part of Reporting and Compliance and in the collection management procedures (refer Collection Management below). In conclusion, it can be seen that the MAGNT has responsibility for a large and very diverse collection, with all of the associated complexities of storage and stakeholder access. The MAGNT is showing a professional approach to the strategic growth and care of that collection. 3.2.1 Collection development