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Establishing Museums

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Cadw is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales.

Creating a new museum is an expensive and time consuming exercise which needs a great deal of long term commitment.

If you are thinking about starting a new museum, here is some information which will help you consider the issues involved. Please be aware that the Welsh Government does not normally support the foundation of new museums.

What is a museum?

In the United Kingdom, the widely accepted definition of a museum is:

Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. They are institutions that collect, safeguard and make accessible artefacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society.’ (Museums Association 1998)

The Museums Association’s Code of Ethics for Museums (external link) explains the principles which should guide how museums operate. The code is available to download in both English and Welsh.  

To help you decide

The following resources might help you decide if you really want to establish a museum:

Further information

If creating a museum is the appropriate step for you, please visit the ‘Museum Accreditation’ and ‘Collections’ pages for more information. Even if you decide not to apply for Accreditation, you should still consider adopting some of its requirements.

If you decide that running a museum is not for you, then the following free sources of information and advice might still be of interest: