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The National Survey for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries

The National Survey for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries

Joe Traynor, Head of Museum Development at Museums Galleries Scotland, talks to us about the first National Survey for Scotland’s museums and galleries in 20 years.

I wonder how many of us remember the National Audit of Scotland’s museums and galleries published in 2002.  Peering through the mists of time, it is something I dimly remember as a newly minted museum professional on a temporary documentation contract. 

Well, it’s that time again! Museums Galleries Scotland is working with DC Research Ltd, on a National Survey for Scotland’s museums and galleries, which will be sent to one named contact in every museum and gallery in Scotland, week commencing June 27 and will close, 26 August.

The survey will help us to capture where the strengths are in the sector, and the areas where Scotland’s museums and galleries most need support. We expect that other members of your staff, whether paid or volunteer, will be involved in sharing their knowledge too.

It will cover the demographics of Scotland’s workforce, breakdown of visitors, skills gaps, and back of house support. Some questions will require more thought than others, but you will be able to save the survey and come back to it. We are asking that you do try to answer as many questions as you can, so that we can gain a clear picture of the sector. 

Once the survey is complete, we will issue a report which we will share with the sector and key stakeholders, including The Scottish Government. Our intention is to compare the current situation with the National Audit data in 2002, to analyse trends and capture where the sector is now in 2022. The information will also provide baseline data for monitoring and evaluation of the progress of the sector’s National Strategy to be published in January 2023. Our plan is to undertake the full survey every five years, capturing the impact of museums and galleries on Scotland and Scottish life.

We recognise this is no small undertaking for every one of Scotland’s museums and galleries, and we are extremely grateful for your support. However, it is vital as we move towards an even more challenging financial future, that we can all articulate the value of our museums and galleries – as a single venue, across multiple-sites, or on a national level. We all need this information to make the best case for our museums and galleries and it is only with your help that MGS can advocate on your behalf.

If you have any questions at all regarding the survey, please get in touch with me, Joe Traynor, at or Heather Doherty our Research and Analytics Manager at You can also contact Dr Stephen Connolly, Director at DC Research Ltd at or by telephone at 01228 402320/07501 725114. We’d be delighted to help.

Published 22 June 2022