MLA

A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on an Orrery

Designation Scheme

MLA’s 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 138 collections held in museums, libraries and archives.

The Scheme 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.

The Designation Scheme will transfer to Arts Council England in the autumn of 2011. We continue to welcome applications from museums, libraries and archives. Application procedure information and Panel meeting dates can be found at Applying for Designation.

The Designation Scheme has now transferred to Arts Council England. Please visit:

http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/about-us/museums-and-libraries/raising-standards/designation-scheme

For further information please contact Paula Brikci (Manager, Designation & PRISM Fund) or Sarah Waldron (Assistant, Designation and PRISM Fund):

Email: designation@artscouncil.org.uk

Applying for Designation

Applications for Designated status are considered by a Panel composed of senior members of the museum, library and archive

Read more

Designation benefits

The scheme identifies nationally significant cultural assets in museums, libraries and archives and builds a strong...

Read more

Designation Value Statement

The Value Statement sits within the overall MLA approach to sector improvement for museums, libraries and archives and builds on

Read more

Designation Development Fund - museums

The new fund replaces the Designation Challenge Fund, which has used Renaissance funding to improve the management and...

Read more

Designation brand

The MLA's Designation Scheme highlights collections of national importance across England.

Read more

Designation Panel

The Panel's chair is Helen Forde, who is also a member of the MLA's board

Read more

Designation Development Funding for library and archive collections

MLA’s Designation scheme identifies collections of national and international importance held in England’s non national museums,

Read more

Latest News

Responsibilities transfer

Sir Andrew Motion, MLA Chair said: “The MLA Board wishes the Arts Council and The National Archives all the best and looks forward to them building on all the achievements of the sector, and the work of the MLA, to help bring about better and more accessible museum, library and archive services for the public.”  Continue reading

  • External Links

  • Designation pages on Culture24

    For more information about the Designated collections and their holding organisations, please visit the Designated collection pages on Culture 24

Subscribe

Keep up to date with all the latest news from MLA by subscribing to our News RSS feed.

Subscribe

Sector Statistics

stats 007school visits to museums statisticsUser satisfaction with public librariesMuseums, libraries and archives website use statistics graphicVolunteering Numbers statisticsNo. of Public Libraries in England (2008-09)Stats widget