Numbering Museum Objects (Online)

Professional development course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
The V&A holds over 1.7 million objects, and every single one is assigned a number to identify it on the collections management system. But what of physically marking and labelling an object with its accession number? How do you ensure that your marking method is durable but reversible, and doesn’t damage the object? 

This online course will outline the guiding principles, best practice and the practical skills for physically numbering or labelling museum objects. You will discover how object marking has evolved at the V&A, learn which materials are recommended for numbering museum objects, and why each method of marking is dependent upon each object or group of objects, their condition and materials, whether stone, metals, plastic, wood, textiles or other.

course photo
Portrait of Course Leader  Neil Carleton

Course Leader
Neil Carleton

Neil is Senior Documentation Officer at the V&A. In his 30 years at the museum, Neil has worked across all Collection Departments on a wide variety of inventory, cataloguing, display, decant and storage projects. As the V&A's lead on object marking, he has numbered over 75,000 objects and parts, and delivers collections management training.

It was a privilege and an absolute pleasure to go behind the scenes of a fantastic museum ! Previous Professional Development course attendee

Course overview

 Using the V&A’s practical expertise, this course offers a rare opportunity to acquire the latest knowledge in sound collections management. In this online course, Neil will outline the theory, best practice and key considerations in numbering and labelling museum objects with the appropriate techniques. By the end of the course, you will have the necessary resources, and knowledge of object-safe materials, marking methods and thinking processes to equip you to confidently and safely mark objects in your collections. 

V&A Academy Online. A learning environment you can trust.

V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

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Professional development course: Numbering Museum Objects (Online)

2 December 2024 - 3 December 2024


Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)