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The Designation Scheme is an English system that awards "Designated status" to museum, library and archive collections of national and international importance. The Scheme is administered by Arts Council England (ACE).[1] As of 2012, 140 collections are officially recognized.[2] National museums are not eligible for Designated status.

The Scheme was first launched in 1997 under the auspices of what eventually became the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and originally covered only museum collections. Harewood House became the first stately home to be awarded Designated status in 1998.[3] The scheme was expanded to cover libraries and archives in 2005. Responsibility was transferred to the Arts Council in October 2011 following the closure of the MLA.[4]

Designated collectionsEdit

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