In June 1998, the UMZC was awarded Designated Status by the Museums and Galleries Commission (now named the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council).
Designation recognises the national and international importance of the collections. It imposes obligations upon the Museum, to maintain the collections under the best possible conditions and to make them accessible to the widest possible public. The Museum of Zoology joins the , Whipple, Sedgwick and Archaelogy & Anthropology Museums in having Designated status. Five of the 62 designated museums nationwide are part of the University of Cambridge. Fitzwilliam
As a Designated museum, the Museum of Zoology qualifies for grants under the Designation Challenge Fund, a three-year programme aimed at improving the quality of care and level of access to outstanding national collections. In previous years, the Museum has been awarded funding to improve environmental monitoring of stores and galleries, to improve public access and to work on our cataloguing project.
In the latest round of the Designation Challenge Fund (2002), our museum was awarded funding to conserve and improve access to the Museum ‘Histories’ – manuscripts and documents relating to the collections – and to continue our outreach programme.