The focus of the attention of the documentation and information system of the MDC is on the museum and the collection as a specific category of material. This is the reason why the MDC keeps the Register of Museums, Galleries, and Collections in Croatia as a unique and specific database of museums, their collections, and professional staff. The main criterion for listing in the Register is the existence of holdings that form a collection. Conceived in this way, the Register is, in fact, a record of the "musealised heritage" and contains information about all museum institutions in Croatia regardless of their legal and administrative status.
Register A, B, C
According to professional and administrative criteria, we differentiate between museums that:
A. meet all the conditions laid down by the Museum Act, and have an approved act concerning their founding, i.e., they legally exist as institutions,
B. partially meet the conditions laid down by the Museum Act and are working on meeting all the conditions,
C. do not meet the conditions laid down by the Museum Act and have little chance of meeting them, but they have holdings, i.e., a collection. These are, for example, collections or institutions that ICOM defines as museums, but are not recognized as such by the Croatian Museum Act, and have no chance of becoming a museum under existing legislation.
The structure of the Register
The Register was conceived as a complex database made up of eight general groups of data (eight smaller databases) that are interconnected.
The structure of the Register was developed by experts at the MDC, and is made up of the following groups of data:
- General information concerning the institution / Service information / About museum, museum mission statement
- Information about addresses and museum premises
- Information about professional staff
- a) Information about museum departments
b) Information about museum collections
c) Information about documentation holdings
- Information about restoration and preservation workshops
- Information about museum library
- Information about museum archive
- Information about the permanent exhibition
Annual data collection
Data for the Register are collected through online updates of data directly to the database and written surveys carried by museums at the end of every calendar year. The response to the survey and online data updates over the past several years has been between 70 and 90 percent. All data are supervised, and if needed, edited by MDC. Apart from surveys, information is collected all year round in other ways: from work reports, orally, through correspondence, through visits to museums undertaken for other purposes, news from the written media and in other ways.
Accessible, dynamic and multi-user oriented database OREG (online Register)
The static and locally single-user oriented database that existed from its inception in 1992 has become - on the basis of professional criteria and user demand, and with the assistance of new technologies – dynamic, accessible over the Internet and multi-user oriented.
Usage of data on museums in Croatia
Today, the MDC is the only institution that can offer a comprehensive and systematic set of data concerning museums and therefore represents an important source of information for museum professionals, for the System of museums in Croatia, the Ministry of Culture, international organizations, and projects, the media, the public at large, as well as for MDC’s experts in their everyday professional activities and in their work on various projects.
The elaboration of general and specific statistical reports and the analysis of data from the Register enable the MDC to offer relevant information that provides an overview of the Croatian museum community, on the basis of which one can create and correct museum policy in Croatia. By joining in the work of EGMUS (European Group on Museum Statistics), information from the Register can be used in drawing up comparative analyses on a European level.