Please note: the Designation Scheme is currently closed for review.
About the scheme
The Designation Scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held in England's non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance. These inspiring collections represent a vital part of our national cultural and artistic heritage.
The scheme was launched in 1997 and now recognises 140 collections held in museums, libraries and archives, it recognises that organisations with Designated collections care for a significant part of England’s cultural heritage and sets out to raise standards across the sector.
Organisations holding Designated collections are expected to work towards the provision of high-quality services which deliver the fullest possible access to those collections and to take a leadership role in the sector by helping other institutions in such ways as sharing expertise, offering advice and lending objects or materials.
For further information please contact Paula Brikci (Manager, Designation and PRISM Fund) or Sarah Waldron (Assistant, Designation and PRISM Fund):
Enquiries tel: 0845 300 6200
Promoting Designated collections
We have created a toolkit to help you promote your Designated collections. It can supplement resources provided by communications colleagues, and provides easy-to-follow tips and templates.
Download Promoting Designated collections
Designation development fund
Designation development funding will support projects that improve museum collections for the benefit of audiences, developing greater public understanding and engagement, while at the same time increasing sustainability. It will also support museums to share best practice with other organisations across the sector.
Find out more about Designation development funding.