Designation Scheme

The Designation Scheme is an English system that awards "Designated status" to museum, library and archive collections of national and international importance. The Scheme is administered by Arts Council England (ACE).[1] As of 2018, 148 collections are officially designated[2], with 140 recognized as 'outstanding'.[3] National museums are not eligible for Designated status.

The Scheme was first launched in 1997 under the auspices of what eventually became the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and originally covered only museum collections. Harewood House became the first stately home to be awarded Designated status in 1998.[4] The scheme was expanded to cover libraries and archives in 2005. Responsibility was transferred to the Arts Council in October 2011 following the closure of the MLA.[5]

Designated collections

See also


  1. "Arts Council - Designation Scheme". Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  2. "Designated Collections | Arts Council England". Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  3. "Arts Council - Designated Collections" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  4. The first stately museum of England, The Independent.
  5. "Arts Council - Museums and libraries formally transfer to Arts Council England". Archived from the original on 9 January 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
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