Project groups


The newsletter started as a paper of the international museum network for collecting issues (April 2008) called CollectingNet. In October 2010 it became the official voice of COMCOL. As COMCOL Newsletter the digital version is distributed two (2) times a year to COMCOL members and anybody who has expressed his/her interest. All newsletters are available on the website.

The Newsletter editorial team exists of:

Riitta Kela:
Erin Caswell:
Catherine Marshall:
Alina Gromova:

Interested in being part of the editorial team? please email

Sharing Collections

Co-chaired: Helene Vollgraaff & Claudia Porto –

Museums are about relationships: Relationships between museums and their communities and between museums. Sharing of information, joint programs and participative community curation are not new ideas. In the COMCOL Newsletter 15, October 2011, Minna Sarantola-Weiss, wrote about the Finish project TAKO, consisting of approximately 60 museums that collaborate regarding collecting and documenting. In the same COMCOL Newsletter, Mille Gabriel wrote about the importance of museums to work with source communities to interpret and document collections. Current technology allows museums to digital access, communities to contribute to knowledge about collections. How are we dealing with ownership of collections and information and equal access to collections? Through collecting, museums remove objects from their environment and thereby change their function and meaning. This is not news either. What models have been developed to manage the sharing of objects between museums and the community with the objects remaining in the possession of the community member?  Is that compatible with museum practice? And how can we enhance online and offline engagement between communities and museums’ collections in order to foster creativity, a stronger sense of identity/empowerment and even the local economy?

The workgroup intends to focus on three areas:

·   New collecting methods in case of collections shared with communities;

·  Collections shared and co-curated by museums through digital access; and

·  Dealing with shared heritage between countries where objects form part of more than one country’s heritage.

Are you interested in becoming part of the discussion? Can you refer us to case studies? Please contact us at –

Contemporary collecting

COMCOL is deeply rooted in the work of the Swedish SAMDOK project. The reflection on theory, practice, and ethics of documenting the present (by collecting and by other means) are continued in the working group on contemporary collecting. One of the aims of this working group is to create a toolkit that will help museums to develop their own policy. The working group maintains contacts not only with the SAMDOK network but with comparable networks in other countries.

If you want to learn more about this working group or if you are interested in participating please contact us –

Collections mobility

COMCOL adopted the European Collections Mobility 2.0 project, which ran from 2009-2011. The initial aim of the project was to facilitate mobility of objects between museums of all European Member States. By offering practical training packages and a theoretical handbook the initiators created tools for museum professionals to make even better use of their collections and explore the possibilities that exist in international collections mobility more often.