In July, 2019, Claire Dean of Dean & Associates visited KZNM and conducted a needs assessment of the collections within both the Natural (DNS) and the Human Sciences (DHS) departments as well as considering the needs of items on exhibition. The recommendations in Dean & Associates’ report, along with the recommendations made by the accounting firm, Grant Thornton, in their Heritage Asset Assessment will be used to guide adjustments to the policies, protocols and practices of collections management at the KZNM. The goal of these assessments is to see where the KZNM can bring its collections management in line with best global practices.
DNS has well over 100,000 items in their collections, including some of the most significant collections of Malacology and Diptera in the world. DHS has some 40,000 objects across Anthropology, Archaeology and History collections. These collections are visited every year by scholars from around the world for their valuable scientific knowledge. The final report will be accepted by museum management by the end of 2019 and submitted to Council. In years to come, Dean and Associates’ recommendations will be implemented.
An example of insect storage in the DNS, all requiring the same environmental conditions, making it possible to consolidate storage space for thousands of individual specimens – a characteristic less common with DHS collections’ storage. Photograph by Claire Dean.