Significance resources

Significance Workshop reading list

The following information was developed for the Significance Assessment of Collections Workshops. Please feel free to use it to guide your reading in the area. Jump ahead to the section you are interested in by clicking on a title in the list of four blue headings below.

General references
Web resources
Other resources
Significance 2.0 Summary Card

General references

Appelbaum, B. 2007. Conservation Treatment Methodology. Butterworth-Heineman, Oxford, 437pp.

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. 2007. ASHRAE Handbook - HVAC Applications. Chapter 21 – Museums, Galleries, Archives and Libraries: 1-23. (See notes below at Resources.)

Ashley-Smith, J. 1999. Risk assessment for object conservation. Butterworth-Heineman, Oxford, 358pp. 

Australia ICOMOS. 2004. The Illustrated Burra Charter: the Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance. Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites. Melbourne.

Australia ICOMOS. 2004. Burra 25. Historic Environment. Vol. 18 (1).

Baer, N.S. 2001. Risk management, value and decision-making. The Paper Conservator. Vol. 25: 53-58.

Bullock, V.M. 2011. Collections Management: its value as a unifying concept. Preprints of the International Council of Museums - Conservation Committee (ICOM-CC) 16th Triennial Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 19-23 September. Available through: 

Bullock, V.M. 2012. The Marriage of Risk Assessment and Significance Assessment: challenges and opportunities. Guest edited by Robert Waller 'The International Symposium on Cultural Property Risk Analysis', a focus issue of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals, Vol. 8(4), Fall, pp. 307-322.

Bullock, V.M. 2014. A survey of significance assessment methods and tools. Essays from the Museum Collections' Value Assessment Institute. Ibermuseus Seminar in Bogota, Colombia, 2012. pp. 374-387.

Caple, C. 2006. Objects: reluctant witnesses to the past. Routledge, Oxford.

Carver, M. 1996. On archaeological value. Antiquity. Vol. 70. (267): 45-56.

Commonwealth of Australia. 2001. Significance: a guide to assessing the significance of cultural heritage objects and collections, Canberra. [.pdf download 2.5MB]

Curthoys, A. and A. McGrath. 2009. How to write history that people want to read. University of New South Wales Press, Sydney. 

Hillhouse, S. 2004. Collections Management: a practical guide. Collections Trust, London.

Hodkinson, I.S. 1990 Man's effect on paintings in Shared Responsibility: a seminar for curators and conservators National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa: 54-68. Available here [5MB download]. Contains 'Significance in Paintings' figure.

Hummeln, I. an D. Sillé. 1999. The decision-making model for the Conservation and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art. In I. Hummeln and D. Sille (eds) Modern Art: Who Cares? An interdisciplinary research project and an international symposium on the conservation of modern and contemporary art. Archetype Publications: 164-172.

Keyser, B. 1994. Saving the Significance. Museum Management and Curatorship. Vol. 13: 130-159.

Lipe, W.D. 1984. Value and meaning in cultural resources. In H. Cleere (ed.) Approaches to the Archaeological Heritage, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 1-11.

Racine, L. et. al. 2009. A work in progress: development of United States National Park Service Museum Collection Significance Evaluation Criteria. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Winter. Vol. 5 (1): 7-59.

Schiffer, M.B. 1977. Assessing Significance. In M.B. Schiffer and G.J. Gumerman. Conservation Archaeology: a guide for Cultural Resource Management Studies. Academic Press, New York: 239-247.

Tainter, J.A. and G.J. Lucas. 1983. Epistemology of the significance concept. American Antiquity. Vo. 48(4): 707-719.

Warden, J. 2009. The Level of Significance 2.0. Museums Australia Magazine. Vol. 18(2). December: 22-23.

Web resources

Australian Heritage Council. Australian Historic Themes Framework:

Australian National Data Service. Research Data Australia:

Commonwealth of Australia. 2009. Review of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 and Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Regulations 1987: Report of Public Consultation. Canberra. 152pp:

Community Heritage Grant Program:

English Heritage. Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment: [malfunctioning link noted May 2014]

Getty Conservation Institute. 1998-2005. Research on the values of heritage:

Hamburg, D. 2008. Safeguarding Heritage Assets: The Library of Congress Planning Framework for Preservation (Chapter 7 in The Big Picture: Preservation Strategies in Context. Library of Congress. Washington:

Heritage Victoria. N.D. Significance Assessments of Objects and Collections (Community Collections):

Leiboff, J.M. 2004. Reconstructing the Role of Cultural Significance in the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 (Cth). PhD. Griffith University:

National Standards Taskforce. National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries, v 1.4, October 2014:

New South Wales Heritage Office. 2001. Assessing Heritage Significance (scroll down):

Renaissance East Midlands. 2012. Reviewing Significance 2.0 (N.B. this publication is not related to the 2009 and 2010 published Significance 2.0):

Russell, R. and K. Winkworth. 2010. Significance 2.0: a guide to assessing the significance of collections:

UNESCO Memory of the World Programme:

Other resources

National Standards Taskforce. 2013. National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries. Version 1.4. October. Available here [download]

This publication comprises three parts: 

Part A - Managing the museum

Part B - Involving people

Part C - Developing a significant collection. Part C is supported by two Principles and 42 Benchmarks. Many tips and references are cited.


Significance 2.0 Summary Card

Click here to access the artwork (.pdf 77 kB) for the Significance International version of the Significance 2.0 Summary Card, and print off as many as you like!