Today, the US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a directive to federal agencies that own or support scientific collections calling for improved management and access to these collections.
The announcement is at
and the directive itself is at
A short quote from the directive that provides some sense of the scope:
Therefore, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hereby directs each Federal agency that owns, maintains, or otherwise financially supports permanent scientific collections to develop a draft scientific-collections management and access policy within six months. Agencies should collaborate through the IWGSC [the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections] while developing these draft policies to reduce redundancy and identify opportunities for common requirements and standards. The end goal will be a systematic improvement of the development, management, accessibility, and preservation of scientific collections owned and/or funded by Federal agencies.
The requirements below are intended to apply to institutional scientific collections owned, maintained, or financially supported by the U.S. Government. This policy applies to scientific collections, known in some disciplines as institutional collections, permanent collections, archival collections, museum collections, or voucher collections, which are assets with long-term scientific value. Materials assembled specifically for short-term use, sometimes referred to as “project collections”, and not intended for long-term preservation, do not fall under this policy, but such collections should be reviewed periodically and carefully to ensure that they should not be considered institutional collections.