We are pleased to share an update on the Our Collections Matter (OCM) initiative, a programme dedicated to empowering collections-based institutions to contribute to sustainable development. This update highlights inspiring success stories, the launch of valuable new resources, and the new call for applications to participate in the 2024 OCM Field Projects. 

Success Stories Showcase Sustainable Collections in Action 

A recent webinar showcased the achievements of three United Kingdom archives who received funding from the National Archives of the UK to use the OCM Toolkit to implement innovative and impactful projects: 

  • The Black Cultural Archives developed a sustainable storage environment to safeguard their collections for the future. 
  • The Box implemented sustainable exhibition practices, revised collection care policies, and engaged the public on climate change. 
  • Headstone Manor Museum fostered community engagement by co-creating sustainability-themed activities with local refugees. 

OCM Lounge fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing 

Our Collections Matter webinar


The 4th OCM Lounge provided a platform for knowledge exchange among participants. Esteemed guests included Simon Lambert and Marie-Hélène Foisy from the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) and former OCM participant Stephanie de Roemer,  a conservator for the University of Cambridge Museums. 

The CCI team provided invaluable feedback on OCM tools and is developing a self-paced online course and a self-assessment tool, launching soon. Ms de Roemer shared her experience conducting a conservation risk assessment, highlighting the project's positive impact on both collections and staff morale. 

Empowering sustainability efforts: New resources on the horizon 

The OCM Self-Assessment Tool, launching in March 2024, will be a valuable resource for collections-based organizations. This tool will assist institutions in evaluating their current contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), allowing them to identify areas for improvement and enhance their sustainability efforts. It will also be available in French thanks to the generous funding and support of the Canadian Conservation Institute, an OCM institutional partner. We are grateful for CCI's active partnership and tremendous support. 

Additionally, the OCM Self-Paced Online Course is under development. This interactive course will provide a deeper understanding of the SDGs and how collections-based institutions can contribute to a more sustainable future. 

The French edition of the Our Collections Matter Self-Assessment Tool has been made possible thanks to generous funding and support from the Canadian Conservation Institute, an OCM institutional partner. We would like to express our gratitude for this active partnership and tremendous support. 

Stay tuned for updates on the launch of these upcoming resources. 

2023 OCM Field Projects conclude with enthusiasm 

The 2023 OCM Field Projects concluded in January with a successful final session. Participants from across the globe shared their project progress and reflected on their experiences.  

"Participating in the OCM program has been invaluable...The collaborative platform of OCM expanded our network and empowered us to contribute meaningfully to preserving our cultural legacy."  

Najib Lubawi, Conservator and Senior Laboratory Technician, Brunei Darussalam 

"Our museum now feels better equipped to comprehend sustainable development goals... After finishing the workshop, we are enthusiastic about implementing the toolkit."  

Telemark Museum, Norway 

Apply for the 2024 OCM Field Projects 

Applications for the 2024 OCM Field Projects are now open! This programme offers a unique opportunity for professionals working in collections-based institutions to gain valuable knowledge, collaborate with a global network of peers and implement a self-directed OCM project. Participation is free, and applications are encouraged from museums, archives, galleries, libraries and other relevant institutions. 

The OCM initiative is committed to supporting collections-based organizations in their sustainability efforts. We encourage you to explore the resources highlighted above and consider participating in the 2024 OCM Field Projects. Together, we can ensure the long-term preservation of cultural heritage while contributing to a more sustainable future.

Apply before 20 March to participate.