ISRIC World Soil Reference Collection management policy

Year of publication
Stephan Mantel
The soil reference collection of ISRIC - World Soil Information is a unique resource. It is used for research and display in the World Soil Museum of ISRIC. This report describes the current collection management practice and our strategy to implement the Spectrum international standard for collection management.
The mandate of the World Soil Museum is to increase, throughout the Netherlands and internationally, interest in, knowledge of and appreciation and respect for thesoils of the world. It does so by establishing, maintaining and developing a global soil collection that provides a reference for identification (classification), comparison, research and education. This report discusses the soil reference collection of ISRIC, its curation and use, in relation to the functions of the World Soil Museum and ISRIC - World Soil Information.
The soil reference collection requires continued attention and quality investment. This means scrutinizing reference data, assessment and documentation of the collection and acquisition and disposal of collection objects. To ensure the quality of the collection and provide accountability, ISRIC has been working towards
compliance with Spectrum procedures of museum collection management. There are 21 procedures in Spectrum. These are discussed in relation to the management of the ISRIC soil reference collections, which is specific due to the unique nature and scientific aspect of the purpose of the collections. Not all Spectrum procedures are therefore relevant for the management of the ISRIC physical collections. Yet, many aspects of the philosophy of the Spectrum standard are relevant. Spectrum procedures will, among others: 1) help to better formulate the strategy of the collections; 2) provide a framework to enhance the quality of the collections; 3) enhance accountability for collection management; and 4) result in documentation of all parts of the collection management.
Spectrum procedures for the curation of the soil reference collection will be
implemented over the coming years in prioritized phases.