National System of Museums (SNM) / Sistema Nacional de Museos (SNM)
The National System of Museums (SNM) is currently working on a national register of museums including more than 230 museums so far, which will be offered training and travelling exhibitions.
In addition, the SNM is also putting into place Mestiza, a digital platform for the register of museum collections with different inventory and cataloguing levels, in which the particular features of each collection are taken into account (art, history, archaeology, anthropology, natural history, science and technology). It includes digital images of the registered objects together with related documents and publications. It also allows to print the registers, so museums may opt for a print version.
Mestiza is currently used by 53 museums and museum collections throughout the country (both public and private, under different administrations) out of a total of 230 museums and museum collections in Uruguay.
The platform is available free of charge to all museums and collections of the country. Collections are uploaded step by step following staff training at the receiving institutions with the help of tutorials prepared for that purpose.
The platform is supported by local backup in each institution, as well as a remote main server run by the SNM-DNC-MEC.
Within the foreseeable future, this tool will serve as a platform, which will enable the public to access the rich heritage of our country´s museums.
The SNM is regulated by Law No. 19037 regarding the establishment of a National System and Register of Museums and Museum Collections and its Regulatory Decree No. 295/014 of October 2014.
The SNM is in charge of implementing Mestiza (the above-mentioned digital platform) and organising national museum meetings. It aims to act as the regulating body for the activity of museums in Uruguay.
The Law and its regulatory decree are included in the Appendices section.
Other actions worth mentioning include the annual national museum meetings addressing museum staff under the MEC´s responsibility and representatives of museums run by the municipalities.
The National Forum of Museums, another SNM-organised event, is an open activity that works on four main issues and offers training to its participants. In 2016 it is going to take place in the department of Rocha.
Promote coordination regarding museum management in Uruguay.
Contribute to the development of a national policy comprising a majority of museums, which will introduce tools for systematic strategic planning (strategic plan).
Encourage inter-institutional cooperation among the country´s museums and related institutions both Uruguayan and foreign.
Foster professionalism in the field of museology in Uruguay.
Optimise infrastructures as well as human and economic resources.
Regularise technical management standards.
Contribute to decentralisation policies.
The annual budget of the National System of Museums amounts to approximately $50,000 dollars.