Museums, Libraries and Archives Council

Museums, Libraries and Archives Council

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is a non-departmental public body in England and a registered charity with a remit to promote improvement and innovation in the area of museums, libraries and archives. It has functions that span the UK and it advises the UK government on policy and priorities for these areas in England, and receives funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The Chairman is Sir Andrew Motion (lately Poet Laureate) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is Roy Clare CBE.

On July 26 2010 it was announced that the MLA would be abolished under new proposals put forward by the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to cut the number of public bodies the government funds.


The MLA was originally established as the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries in 1931.[1] It was set up following the recommendations of the Final Report of the Royal Commission on National Museums and Galleries, produced in 1929. The Standing Commission was renamed the Museums and Galleries Commission (MGC) in September 1981 and given additional responsibilities. The MGA was a registered charity and incorporated under a Royal Charter on 1 January 1987. In April 2000, the MGA and the Library and Information Commission were combined into Re:source which was later renamed the MLA Council. The MLA is represented in London by MLA London, a separate charity that receives core funding from the MLA.

In 2003 the MLA was a stakeholder in the Framework for the Future report that set out a vision for the future of public libraries in England. In 2008, working with The National Archives, the MLA developed a consultation document on "21st Century Archives". In 2009 the MLA published "Leading Museums" a vision and action plan for museums.

The MLA took over the running of the "Designation Scheme", which began in 1997 under the auspices of the Museums and Galleries Commission (MGC). It was expanded in 2005 to include archives and libraries as well as museums that had pre-eminent collections of national or international importance held outside of national institutions. 135 collections had been awarded Designated status by 2011. After the abolition of the MLA in 2011/2012 the Designation Scheme is to be taken over by Arts Council England (ACE)).[2][3][4]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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