What Is A Collection Management Policy?

What Is A Collection Management Policy?


Definition of Collection management policy


A collections management policy can be defined as the set of policies, guidelines, and regulatory requirements that address various aspects of collection management. 

The same policy specifies the scope of the collections kept at the museum and how they will be cared for and preserved by the museum's authorities. Furthermore, the collection management policy informs the public about the types of collections that can be made available to the public. 

A collections management policy as well describes the role and responsibilities of the individuals in charge of the museum's collections. Organizations with living collections may use distinct terminology to describe the policies and procedures that govern the care of their plants and animals. 

Exhibitions that do not possess collections but borrow and use artifacts owned by someone else ought to have borrowing policies in place.

In other words, a collections management policy informs everyone about the artifacts and their preservation rules, ensuring that they are protected for the benefit of the public. The process of implementing this policy is extremely crucial and required of all museums.

What are the major purposes of the Collection Management Policy?


Any museum's collections management policy is a vital document. Many important goals are achieved through this document, including the following:

This policy accounts for all of the collections maintained in the museum and documents them in a well-mannered format. In a sense, it is the written declaration of the museums' collections. All of the collections are thus safeguarded and kept safe and secure. Furthermore, the specifics are passed down from generation to generation, ensuring that the collections are preserved and cared for.

  1. Acquisition, disposal, and line of credit activities are carried out in accordance with the Museum's objective, following all applicable laws, and in accordance with the highest ethical standards.
  2. The selling, gift, transfer, or other disposition of works from the collection is purely for the progress of the Building's mission, and cash flows from such sales are only used for acquiring or monitoring and care of collections.
  3. Permission or access to the collections in the museums, storage, and the study room is authorized and adequately governed, as is access to collection information.
  4. Collection-related activities serve the objective of the Museum and the greater benefit rather than a personal monetary benefit.

What are the required elements for the Collection Management Policy?


For the museums which own and/or manage collections:
  1. acquisitions/accessioning
  2. loans, incoming and outgoing (museums that do not lend/borrow should state this fact)
  3. Getting rid of required collections and using proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned collections
  4. inventory and/or documentation
  5. collection care
  6. collection access and/or use

For organizations that do not own or manage collections but instead borrow and use objects for exhibits, education, or research:
  1. Borrowing policies
  2. Temporary object care and responsibilities 

Any museum is well-known among the general public for its collections. Their main goal is to educate them about the collections and hold them to the highest standards possible. 

To satisfy the conditions, exhibitions should develop a written collection development policy that defines the context of the collection of the museum, describes how well the museum actually cares for and makes collections accessible to the public, and identifies the duties of the parties involved in managing the museum's collections. 

That glorious document is the collections management policy. So, by now, you should have a good idea of what it is and what the main goals of creating this document are.

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