Collection Management Policy
This Collections Management Policy has been set up by the Collections Committee that operates under the authority of the Board of Directors of The Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society Inc. It is used as the basis for cooperative strategies and a tool in planning for the systematic collection, identification, preservation and security of a historically significant museum inventory. The Museum is responsible for the safe-keeping of the artifacts in its custody and as such, its representatives make every reasonable effort to carry out this responsibility in an orderly and professional manner.
Collections for this Museum are to serve and protect the culture and heritage of the community from times before the first European settlers and onward. The Museum is interested in historically relevant items, written documentation, pictures and stories that can be used to showcase the history of the municipalities that surround the Town of Lac du Bonnet that have societal interplay largely influenced by geography, geology and watercourse. While the ability to document the individual history of an item and, if possible, its monetary value is important, the main idea is for the collection of items to tell a story of or document the history of the area.
As such, items accepted by the Collections Committee will only be those relevant to the development of the community. The Museum and its collection of artifacts can be used for study by pre-school and school children and individual researchers. It can be used for story-telling with the use of artifacts, and documenting the oral histories of those people who were instrumental to the development of this area. Community members, tourists and cottagers can visit to reminisce or learn about the local history.
Sometimes the unnecessary handling of artifacts for research, education, programming and other endeavours will be reduced by using pictures, photocopies and descriptions rather than the actual artifacts. It is relevant for Museum staff to maintain both physical and intellectual control of inventory.
Duplicate copies of documentation will be kept off-site from the Museum; but control of on-site Museum inventory is necessary at all times from accession, display, repair, loan, storage and de-accession, by proper record maintenance. Loans into and out of the Museum, from any source (individual or institutions), are not a consideration at this time due to minimal storage space, money restraints, insurance costs and the necessity for further policy development.
Board members, Museum volunteers and staff wishing to collect artifacts for themselves or anyone else or for profit may possibly be acting in conflict of interest. They would require advance written permission from the Board in each instance. Items involved must first be offered to the Collections Committee. For ethical guidelines to be followed by the staff and volunteers, refer to the statement written by the Canadian Museum Association (see copy in the Society’s Collection Management binder).
The accumulation of inventory, also called accessions, will usually be done by donations from the general public. It will be explained to donors that items will be presented as gifts to the Museum. The Museum will keep the general public informed about objects that are needed. On rare occasions an item might be purchased, but only to complete a specific part of the collection. Apart from a few exceptions, the items collected will be relatively small, in good condition.
The Collections Committee will give consideration to the function of each object and the Museums potential to continue to preserve it. Duplications will be given special consideration due to the space that is available. It is to remain the decision of the Committee whether a donation will be kept in the condition it was when received or will be restored. The Committee reserves the right to not accept an item or to de-accession any item as deemed necessary (see further comment on de-accessioning). The Collections Committee maintains the right to accept only part of an offering.
Donations may be politely refused if the donor wishes to apply his/her own terms to an offering. The Society / Museum will not pay for evaluation fees or give appraisals. Refer: Revenue Canada Taxation Guide called “Gifts in Kind” for information regarding tax receipts and appraisals.
Items will be accepted either by (a) donations/transfers of ownership or (b) outright purchases:
- Transfers of ownership must be accompanied by the proper legal paperwork. The Donation Agreement states that , “As the legal owner of the object(s) described below, I hereby transfer by gift(s) my full right, title, copyright, and interest in same to The Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society Inc. forever, and agree that this transfer is an unrestricted and unconditional one, and that the gift(s) may be used by the Museum as it sees fit. “Terms of Acceptance on the back of this form states”. “The objective of the Society is to share information with the whole community and its visitors. Material is collected in order to protect and preserve the culture and heritage of the community for the future. Material donations become the exclusive property of the Society for use by the Museum, and as such may be stored, displayed, loaned, or dispersed in a manner commonly used in museum practice”.
- Outright purchases must have a bill of sale in the name of the Museum (not an individual).
Donors will be given a Donation Agreement to sign: therefore, items presented to the Museum will be accepted together with the required documentation, e.g.: Donation Agreement; Donor Questionnaire and History of Use. Upon receipt by the Museum, the accepted items and documentation will be placed in a receiving area where a Condition Report Form, a Catalogue Card/Accession Card, Treatment Report Form, and other pertinent forms and checks, will be completed by an assigned Museum representative.
The act to remove an item from the collection is taken seriously, because all items in the Museum’s collection represent a public trust. To remove an artifact from the collection (de-accessioning), the Curator and Collections Committee must state the reason; e.g.: a forgery; damaged; stolen; inappropriate; etc. Then, they need to state the option chosen for removal; e.g.: trade; donation; sold; destroyed; etc. Net proceeds from a sale will be placed into a collection fund for future acquisitions. An Incident and/or Accident Report may need to be completed, and the RCMP notified. The decision to dispose of an item must be made by the Curator and/or the Collection Committee, with approval by the Board and mentioned in the Society Minutes. A Museum De-accessioning Form must be completed as required. Refer to Museum De-accessioning Procedure.
Proposals for change to this Collections Management Policy will be made each year at the Annual General Meeting.
This Collections Management Policy is available upon request, and on the Society website.
The Board of The Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society Inc.,
and noted in the Minutes of (date).
Original signed by, President.
The Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society Inc. On (date).