Recommended Policy Standards for Museums

1. Statement of Purpose

  1. reason for existence

  2. functions performed

  3. geographic area served

  4. subject area

  5. time period

  6. method of amendment

2. Collections Management Policy

  1. defines methods of acquisition

  2. provides for documented legal transfer of ownership

  3. defines intended uses of collections and museum's position on duplicates

  4. defines museum's position on loans

  5. defines the authority responsible for approving acquisitions

  6. makes a commitment to develop written procedures for cataloguing

  7. asserts the museum's right to deaccession

3. Cataloguing/Registration Procedures

  1. definitions of key terms (eg. registration, accessions)

  2. definitions of records maintained at the museum (eg. gift form, ledger, accessions, etc.)

  3. description of registration process (eg. general overview, point form)

  4. explanation of how to prepare and manage records with examples of forms

  5. description of methods used to associate objects with their records (eg. numbering system, methods to mark artifacts)

4. Deaccessions Policy

  1. definition of acceptable criteria for deaccessions

  2. definition of acceptable methods of disposal

  3. commitment to maintain records of deaccessions

  4. definition of the authority responsible for approving deaccessions

  5. commitment to develop written procedures for deaccessioning

5. Basic Conservation Policy

The Museum recognizes the importance of preserving the collections entrusted to its care by:

  1. delegation of an individual who will be responsible for collections care

  2. a commitment to establish, monitor and maintain standards for temperature, humidity and lighting

  3. a commitment to protect the collections from fire, flood, vandalism, theft, pests, poor handling and improper display conditions

  4. a commitment to provide clean, orderly and safe storage

  5. a commitment to consult with and be guided by the advice of qualified experts in conservation (eg. Manitoba Heritage Conservation Service, Canadian Conservation Institute) before undertaking cleaning, repair or restoration of objects

  6. a commitment to maintain records of any alterations or repairs

  7. a commitment to undertake training in the care and handling of collections

Guidelines for preparing annual reports

An annual report is a written record of the museum's activities and accomplishments during the previous year. It should be a concise yet comprehensive account of the year's events. Your annual report should include:

  • a short message from the president highlighting the year's activities

  • names of the executive, board members and staff (including summer staff)

  • the number of days and hours the museum was open

  • the number of museum visitors, members, and volunteers

  • a short summary of activities (eg. exhibits, programs, fundraising efforts, special events)

  • a short summary of work done on the building(s) or grounds

  • a short summary of the number of new collections received

  • a short summary of any publicity (eg. newspaper articles) received by the museum

  • a statement of what the museum hopes to accomplish next year