Collections Policy

COLLECTIONS POLICY

of

DAVIDSON COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM

PURPOSE

The purpose of the Davidson County Historical Museum is to preserve, protect, collect and present the material culture of Davidson County through regularly scheduled exhibits and educational programs in order to foster the understanding of the history and culture of Davidson County and its people.

ACQUISITIONS

The museum will collect, document and preserve for future generations objects and specimens relevant to the history, natural history, and culture of Davidson County that can be used in the present or future education and/or exhibition programs in accordance with the statement of purpose. These objects and specimens will be maintained as the collection of the Davidson County Historical Museum and will be accessioned by a formal process to accept and record the object as a collection item.

A. Objects may be accessioned if they:

1. Are related to Davidson County history through some direct or indirect connection with significant persons, places, or events of the county.

2. Are reflective or illustrative of Davidson County life and environment even if only in a typical rather than specific way.

3. Are representative samples of Davidson County arts, crafts, and home industry; fine art shall not be sought except when it represents people, places, events, or life styles of Davidson County.

4. Is representative of the prehistoric or historic Native American culture of Davidson County.

5. Are objects that are typical of and accurately represent Davidson County life when objects original to the area are not available.

B. The Museum will also maintain objects that will not be accessioned into the collection. These may include:

1. Reproduction items or items not of museum quality.

2. Items of a documentary nature such as photographs, newspaper clippings, manuscripts, books.

3. Items useful in the exhibition program such as mannequins, moldings, graphics, etc.

4. Items useful in the administration and maintenance of the museum

5. Items donated with the intention of sale for the benefit of the museum and its acquisitions program.

C. Objects may be added to the collection by means of gifts, bequests, purchases,

exchanges or any other transaction by which title to the objects passes to the museum.

1. Only unconditional gifts will be accepted.

2. All gifts are considered outright and unconditional property of the Davidson

County Historical Museum.

3. All objects donated must be the property of the donor and not encumbered by

liens or other restrictions of ownership.

4. No objects will be accepted on which restrictions are placed which prevent

effective research examination, normal exhibition use, loan, or effective disposal.

5. No objects will be accepted that require long term or permanent exhibition, or

under the condition that they remain part of a permanent collection or be exhibited with

other objects.

6. No objects will be accepted with the requirement that the museum retain

ownership for any specified length of time.

7. No object will be accepted without consideration for its proper care, storage,

and possible conservation needs.

8. No object will be accepted without the approval of the curator or curator’s

designee.

9. No object will be accepted with the requirement that the donor’s name or other

information must be displayed with it. The museum will, however, maintain a donor’s

confidentiality upon request.

D. All donations are tax deductible under the regulation of the Internal Revenue Service.

1. Museum staff will not appraise artifacts.

2. When an appraisal is needed the museum will assist donors by preparing lists

and making objects available for examination by an appraiser selected and employed by

the donor.

3. Museum staff may assist in the identification of objects brought to the

museum. Objects should not be left at the museum for this purpose without appropriate

loan forms completed.

4. Neither the museum nor staff will participate in any way in the sale of an

artifact by the owner to a third party.

INCOMING LOANS

The museum may borrow objects from individuals and institutions as required for

exhibition or educational purposes subject to the following conditions:

1. The museum will give borrowed objects the same care given its own property.

The museum will not borrow objects that are perishable, dangerous, of questionable

provenance, or cannot be borrowed without endangering the object.

2. The museum will assume responsibility and will be liable in case of loss or

damage by theft, fire, or accident to the extent of any insurance carried by the museum to

cover such losses.

3. Objects shall remain the property of the depositor and shall be subject to

withdrawal by him upon surrender of the loan receipt or upon the written order of the

lender or his duly authorized agent upon reasonable notice.

4. In case of the death of the lender, the local representative of the deceased is

requested to notify the museum regarding loan items, giving his or her full name and

address in writing and enclosing a certified copy of his or her authority.

5. The museum reserves the right to photograph loan objects for non-commercial

purposes.

6. The museum will notify the lender when it wishes to terminate the loan.

7. All loans are subject to the approval of the curator, and appropriate loan forms

will be completed and signed by both parties when the museum takes possession of the

object or objects.

OUTGOING LOANS

The museum may lend collection material to non-profit cultural, educational, or

charitable institutions which are judged to be appropriate depositories of the materials and

capable of providing appropriate care and insurance for these materials.

1. Loans are subject to the approval of the curator.

2. Loan forms will be prepared and signed by both parties at the time of the

transfer of the object.

3. Loans will not be made to institutions, organizations, groups, or individuals for

the purpose of raising money.

4. It will be the responsibility of the borrower to protect the items from all loss

and damage caused by temperature, humidity, vermin, handling, fire, water, theft or any

such causes and to carry insurance as needed to cover any loss.

DEACCESSIONING

Deaccessioning is the formal process used to remove permanently an object from the

collections and is an important aspect of collections management. Deaccessioned items

may be retained by the museum or disposed of by gift to another museum or

governmental agency, or by transfer, sale, exchange, or destruction.

Objects may be deaccessioned:

1. If the object is no longer relevant and useful to the purposes and activities of

the museum.

2. If the object has deteriorated beyond usefulness or is endangered by its

continued presence in the collection or poses danger to other items.

3. If the object can no longer be appropriately cared for.

4. If deaccessioning the object can benefit or strengthen the museum’s goals or

purposes.

A. Objects of no monetary value may be deaccessioned by recommendation of the staff

and approval of the curator and will be destroyed. Records of such action shall be made

and retained with the object record.

B. Objects with value that the staff recommends in writing be deaccessioned will be

brought to the attention of the Board and the method of disposition approved. A copy of

this action should be kept with the minutes of the meeting and in the object records.

C. Should the decision to sell an object be made, the following will be considered:

1. The goal should be to bring the best possible price for the benefit of the

museum.

2. There will be no private sale of museum objects to staff or board members or

their agents or representatives. In the event of a public sale, staff and board members will

be eligible to bid on offered items.

3. The funds from such sales should be placed in a Museum Acquisition Fund for

the acquisition of artifacts, objects or collections.

D. In the event of the demise of the Davidson County Historical Museum, because of the

special nature of the accessioned collection, its intrinsic and historic value should be

considered paramount to its monetary value. The articles in the collection have been

given so that they can be protected and utilized in museum interpretation for the

betterment of the community. Should the museum cease to exist, the accessioned

collection should be given in whole or in part to another museum with a professional

staff.

CARE OF THE COLLECTION

1. It is the responsibility of the staff at all times to protect and preserve collection

objects.

2. The collection should be adequately protected against loss or damage, by fire, theft,

vandalism, natural disaster, improper handling or harm of any other type.

3. Caring for the collection includes appropriate record keeping. These include the

records necessary for establishing the legal status of the object, its care and location, and

information establishing its historic and intrinsic worth.