This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book begins with an introduction to the subject, the nature of collections, how collections are organised and what the main areas of documentary significance are. It provides some examples to offer guidance on the kinds of issues that may need to be considered with specific items, but a comprehensive overview of legislation in different countries. The book focuses on existing knowledge by providing a route to the understanding necessary for the curation and care of a range of different collections, an important prerequisite for improvements in the care, and use, of museum collections. Museum collections contain items comprised entirely of natural materials, and those that are man-made. The book considers the local context and needs of a museum collection and acts as a guide for active, cooperative and contemporary collecting.