Concern about the state of objects is one of the fundamental tasks of all employees of museums, and a commitment incumbent on the institution. This care, beyond the economic issue, is often an organizational challenge. The diffi culties in managing the maintenance of a museum are largely explained by objective factors such as the location of the museum itself, often at a distance from universities and training centres for conservators-restorers, or a limited access to basic information. A problem faced by conservators-restorers or guardians of collections can also be the complex and heterogeneous nature of the material they contain. Unlike those museums that house works of art, institutions in which the collections contain examples of craftsmanship, natural objects or technical equipment often do not have the ability to employ specialized graduates, trained to deal with these special collections.
The National Institute for Museums and Public Collections, with support from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, are pursuing The Project Museum Statistics. It is intended to become a comprehensive source of knowledge about the state of the Polish museum sector. This publication presents a collection of reports with analyses of data collected over the first three years of the project.
The Museum Statistics project, initiated in 2013, has been supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the very beginning. Since then, it has continually grown to reflect the situation in the museum environment. Social, technological and economic changes are not irrelevant to the functioning of the Polish museum sector. Hence, the scope of data collected, as well as the collection methods used, have aturally evolved and, most importantly of all, the number of museums participating in the project has increased. The fact that we are reaching a steadily growing audience can be considered a success. Nevertheless, according to different estimates, there are more than 1000 museum institutions in Poland. To present them all, in all fields of their activities, we face an immense challenge.