The University of Cumbria has signed an agreement with a local museum to enable both to "flourish".
The Armitt Museum in Ambleside, which was founded in 1912, is dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the Lake District.
Its current premises are too small for the depth and size of its collection.
Trustees hope closer ties with the university could lead to an expansion of the collection within its campus, and expand its "footprint and reach".
Both organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding to recognise their "shared roots in the intellectual heritage of Ambleside and the Lake District".
The Armitt was founded in memory of sisters Mary Louisa and Sophia Armitt, with Beatrix Potter among its early supporters.
Its chair, Charles Nugent, said: "The Armitt and the University of Cumbria both have things to offer each other which will be of mutual benefit to both institutions.
"We have the academic resources, [and] the historic and cultural depth that we hope that the university and students can make use of."
Prof Julie Mennell, vice chancellor of the University of Cumbria, said: "We'll be working with them in a range of different ways to ensure that we make the most of what this organisation has to offer in terms of expertise and archive that can benefit our students, and equally they can benefit from our resource and expertise".