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Akichi in Collections Management: Perspectives from a Japanese University Museum

Build expertise in collections management as you explore the role of community and sharing in university museums.

creative akichi (a open space for community collections)

Akichi in Collections Management: Perspectives from a Japanese University Museum

  • 2 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Discover a new approach to collections management

In 2021, Keio University pioneered a new approach to collections management at its university museum, KeMCo. The museum opened up a creative akichi (an open space for community collections) and welcomed the public for a variety of activities.

On this two-week course, you’ll find out more about Keio’s innovations in collections management. You’ll explore concepts like community, sharing, and akichi, discussing their role in modern-day collections management in university museums.

Join an online community sharing experiences and ideas

The aim of this course is to open up a space for discussing contemporary issues, ideas, and best practices, just like its own creative akichi.

You’ll join a vibrant, international online community where you can share your own experiences and your own views on collections management. You’ll also take a virtual tour of university museums around the world.

You’ll finish the course with a new network of international learners, and a renewed sense of the role of community in collections management.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds In our daily lives, you’re surrounded by objects tied to all sorts of memories. The items collected by a certain group —their “community collection” —are rich in stories with deep roots in that community’s history, values, and sensibilities.

Skip to 0 minutes and 26 seconds There are a variety of communities: Local regions, schools, workplaces, families… What sort of collections have been built up in your communities?

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 seconds Hello everyone. I am Yu Homma. And I am Yohko Watanabe. We’re in a new university museum, the Keio Museum Commons just opened in 2021. Here you can find a variety of objects collected by different communities, in the course of long history of the oldest university in Japan. We live in a rapidly changing society. It is not easy to pause and reflect on the values and principles that anchor us. However, the overlapping timelines and variety within community collections can help us navigate through these changes. On the other hand, it requires effort and invention for collections to reconnect and continue to remain relevant to the current activities of the community.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 seconds We propose the concept of “sharing” as a key to engage with the community collection. In this course, drawing inspiration from the case of the Keio Museum Commons, we will showcase a range of activities centered around the collection such as exhibitions and learning programmes. We will present your efforts to create an akichi — that is an open and creative space for sharing. This course will NOT be a platform for delivering established methods and results. Instead, you will actively engage in participatory activities such as discussions and virtual visits to museums and collections. Our aim is to create a vibrant community where you can share current issues, practices, challenges, and ongoing efforts in this field with friends and colleagues worldwide.

Skip to 2 minutes and 36 seconds Let’s come together and embark on this exciting adventure together!


  • Week 1

    Re-engaging with Community Collections

    • Community Collections

      What is a community collection? How do communities engage in collections management? Let’s look at community collections around us.

    • Community Collections in Universities

      What are community collections in Universities? What makes them unique? Let’s visit some university museums to learn how universities value and manage their collections.

    • Challenges of Community Collections in Universities

      We’ll explore the difficulties in maintaining value for community collections in universities. Let’s visit some university museums in Japan to learn how they handle the challenges surrounding their community collections.

    • Re-engage with Community Collections

      As communities change over time, community collections are, unfortunately, often left behind. What can we do to bring attention and activity back to the forgotten collections, and how can we reconnect community members with them?

  • Week 2

    Designing a Place for Sharing - Akichi

    • Sharing Collections in Exhibitions

      To promote the sharing concept in collections management, we propose akichi as a place for sharing. Let’s examine how Keio University implemented the concept by visiting their exhibitions.

    • Sharing Collections in Learning

      Sharing can also enrich the learning experience in university museums. Let’s visit some learning programs in university museums to see how they connect people and collections through formal and informal learning.

    • People Around Collections

      Akichi is a place for collections where a variety of people involved with collections gather. Who are these stakeholders in university museums? Let’s meet people in Keio’s museum.

    • Akichi for Your Community

      Let’s reflect on what we learned in this course: how do museum collections promote sharing and community engagement? And we’d like you to design your akichi and share it with us!

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Engage with the state and issue of the local community collections.
  • Explore the effective and possible practices to re-engage university collections with wider community members.
  • Develop new ideas on how to create a new community of practices around community collections.
  • Collaborate with various colleagues worldwide to share challenges and best practices.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone working or interested in collections management, particularly those handling community collections.

More broadly, it will also suit anyone interested in exploring ideas and best practices around the role of museums in education and the community.

Who will you learn with?

Formerly a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. I’m a
professor and curator at the Keio University Art Center. I head the
"Introduction to Ex-Noguchi Room" course.

Programme manager and archivist at Keio Museum Commons. Graduated in Art History (BA, MA) and has been involved with several projects concerning archives, university museums and digital humanities.

Who developed the course?

Keio University

Keio University is Japan’s first modern institution of higher learning, and since 1858 has established itself as a leader in Japan through its continued commitment to education, research and medicine.

  • Established

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • World ranking

    Top 200Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 8 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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