Provenance Research :

National Museum Directors' Conference (NMDC)

National Museum Directors' Conference (NMDC)

The National Museum Directors' Conference (NMDC) an independent, non-governmental organisation, was founded in order for the national collections to work together and deal with issues of concern to all. Members are the directors of the national museums of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the three national libraries, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the Public Record Office.

In June 1998 the NMDC established a Working Group on Spoliation to draw up a Statement of Principles and proposed actions for all member institutions regarding Nazi-era looted art. That Statement was presented to the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets in December 1998. Each member museum was encouraged to draw up a plan for provenance research. An external advisory committee was appointed to ensure that the museums followed the principles set out in the NMDC Statement. The Museums and Galleries Commission (MGC), now the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) representing the non-national museums and galleries, produced a similar statement in April 1999 as a guide for non-national museums and galleries. The MGC /MLA and its findings are also represented within the NMDC Working Group.

In order to publicise the results of the provenance research carried out by the NMDC and the MGC (now known as Resource) the NMDC set up a provenance research site at: The first progress report was published online in February 2000 and updated in October of the same year. The site was most recently updated in February 2006. 

It contains, in addition to individual action plans and progress-to-date for each museum, gallery, and library member of the working party, lists of works of art with incomplete provenances between 1933-1945 under their respective institutions. The database of all the works of art included in these lists is fully searchable.  Alternatively, the lists for each museum can be reviewed individually.  The website also provides useful information for claimants and any interested enquirers.  All information on this site is also now available on the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) website at

The following museums, with their associated information, are currently listed on both sites.

National Museums and Galleries

Non-National Museums and Galleries

Contact Information 
NMDC  Working Group on Spoliation
Victoria & Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL
Fax: +44 (0)20 7942 2162

Kate Bellamy (Secretary)
Tel.: +44 (0)20 7942 2817

Suzie Tucker (Executive Assistant)
Tel.: +44 (0)20 7942 2818

National Museum Directors' Conference
<>, first accessed 21 November 2002.  Information updated 12 November 2007.

Cultural Property Advice - Spoliation Reports
<>, first accessed 21 November 2002.  Information updated 12 November 2007