What is a collection policy?
“A collection policy is a detailed statement that explains why a museum is in operation and how it goes about its business.
The policy articulates the museums’ professional standards regarding objects left in its care and serves as a guide for the staff and as a source of information for the public. Policy exists to define areas of responsibility and to set forth guidelines for those charged with making certain decisions.”
Taken from: A Legal Primer on Managing Museum Collections by Marie C. Malaro. This manual is a standard in the field and a great resource to learn more.
What is deaccessioning?
Deaccessioning is the formal process used to permanently remove an object from the museum collection.
There once was a time when museums functioned as a mausoleum or final resting place for the accumulations of successive generations. This is no longer the case. Communities grow and change and so must museums. Collecting is not a mechanical process, it’s a combination of thoughtful selection and pruning. Periodic reevaluation is as important as acquisition, and deaccessioning, if properly used can be a means toward true growth.
Contact Curator Mark Dodge with questions or comments about items slated for deaccession.
The first deaccession list of 2021 will be posted here soon.
You can use our online collection to get a better view of individual artifacts under consideration. Enter the object identification number from the report into the catalog number field using the advanced search tab.