One of the interesting challenges involved in enabling eight museums and a botanic garden to work more closely together is to find ways to express our collective vision while maintaining the clear identity of each constituent organisation.

Connections, between people and our collections, and between the collections themselves, are central to the University of Cambridge Museum’s unique multidisciplinary consortium.   Discussions across the University of Cambridge Museums have recently enabled us to better express this shared mission and to reflect our shared priorities.

We describe the University of Cambridge Museums’s mission as being:

‘To provide and facilitate inspiring and innovative encounters between diverse audiences and our diverse collections, informed by leading-edge scholarship and artistic practice.

We bridge the gap between behind-the-scenes and front-of-house, explore the unexpected exciting and revelatory connections between our collections, and the connections we make between collections and people.’

The University of Cambridge Museums has recently developed a Strategic Framework, which identifies four priority areas where this vision is delivered by individual museums as well as the consortium as a whole.  These cover both the public-facing and behind-the-scenes work of the museums, and will guide the consortium as it continues to develop and flourish over the coming five years.

The priority areas are:

Our Audiences: We remove barriers and stimulate curiosity, making people feel welcome and enabling them to access, engage, participate in and influence our work

Our Communities: We strengthen and enrich communities and enable people to have greater opportunities to participate equally in society

Our Organisations: Our staff are skilled and knowledgeable, collections are well cared for, organisations are appropriately resourced, sustainable, well governed and we have effective and mutually beneficial partnerships

Our Excellence, Leadership & Reach: Our exceptional collections, research, programmes and practice enable the University of Cambridge Museums to have local, regional, national and global reach and impact