Collections Management Policies and Procedures

East Point Historical Society

Collections Management
Policies and Procedures
April 2013

I         Introduction

The Curator and Board Members of The East Point Historical Society are responsible for the prudent management of the Society’s collections.  Prudent management requires written policies and guidelines.  This document is intended to fulfill that requirement.  In case of emergency, any Board Member may wave these procedures.  The Board at their next Meeting shall review any such waiver.

II         Board Members Responsibilities

The Board Members will make decisions and recommendations for specific actions regarding the accession and deaccession of the Society’s collections. 
Following are the policies for specific actions:

1.     Gifts, bequests and purchases for the purpose of accession,                                  in cases defined in Section IV.
2.     Deaccession, in cases defined in Section V.
3.     Loans to the Archives, in cases defined in Section VI
4.     Loans from the Archives, in cases defined in Section VI

III         Purpose

         The Mission of the East Point Historical Society is to collect, organize, preserve and make available to the public items of historical interest related to the City of East Point, Georgia.
IV         Acquisitions

A.  The following general criteria shall apply to acquisitions:

1.     The item shall be consistent with the purpose of the Society and its general collection.

2.     The item shall possess potential for research or exhibition purposes.

3.     The item should be in good condition.

4.     No guarantees shall be made that the Item(s) will be retained by the Society in perpetuity, or that they will be exhibited, or that they will be used by the Archives in any specific manner, nor shall any guarantee be made regarding attribution or placement of the gift.

5.     Appropriate storage space must be available.

6.     Item should not be encumbered by condition imposed by a donor by intellectual property right (i.e. copyright, trademark, etc.) or by nature (obscene, defamatory or dangerous to the building or staff, (e.g. radioactive or explosive).

7.     The item(s) must have been legally obtained by the donor/seller.

8.     Acceptance of item(s) should not appear to give commercial endorsement.

9.     The Society cannot appraise donations.

B.    All items(s) shall be accessioned within thirty (30) working days and the records become permanent records of the Society.

V         Deaccessioning

A.    Criteria – Collections of the Archives must reflect the purpose of the institution.  Resources must be managed to ensure that the Society will be able to properly house and preserve the items, which support the focus of the Society.  Accordingly, items may be deaccessioned if they are:

1.     Irrelevant to the purpose of the Society.

2.     In poor condition.

3.     Imperil the wellbeing of the collections.

4.     If the Society cannot properly care for them.

5.     They no longer serve the purpose of the Society.

The Society cannot dispose of items it does not own.  All deaccessioning records shall be completed in thirty (30) days and the records become permanent records of the institution.

B.    Procedures – No items in the possession of the Archives should be loaned, traded, destroyed, sold or otherwise disposed of:

1. without the resolution of ownership.

2.   without careful attention to the intentions and feelings of donors,

3.   without thorough consideration of the significance to the purpose of the Archives.

In the event of sales of any items, it is the intent of the Board that the proceeds from the sale be applied to the operating budget of the Society.  Any Board Member shall have the authority to deaccession items valued at $100 or less.  Item(s) valued above $100 require the approval of the Board. 

The following are approved methods of disposition:

1.     Exchange with another archives or education institution

2.     Donation to another archives, museum or public institution

3.     Sale

4.     Discard

VI.         Loans

A.    Incoming – Loans of items to and from the Society are to be discouraged due to management considerations with limited staff and limited time.  All incoming loans will be evaluated by the Board as to their pertinence to the purpose of the Society.  No indefinite loans will be taken by the Society.  No repairs, alterations or conservation treatment of loaned items shall be undertaken without properly documented permission of the lender.  Items will not be covered by insurance while on loan.  Any incoming items loaned shall be subject to the following:

1.     General loan, an item loaned to the Society, becomes the property  of the Institution after five (5) years, lender may reclaim any time within this five (5) year period, see Section VII Records.

2.     Temporary loan, an item loaned to the Society for 90 days, then returns to the lender, see Section VII Records.

B.    Outgoing – The Society may loan out only items it owns and has accessioned.  Outgoing loans will be subject to stipulations assigned by the Board, such as removal forms, date of return and security deposits.  Borrowers will be responsible for the proper care and return of the items.  Borrowers must provide proof of insurance coverage for the item in transit and while at their institution.  The President may withdraw the loan if, in the President’s opinion, the borrowing institution has failed  to provide adequate security and care for the item.  The Society will not be connected with commercial endeavors or product endorsement.  Borrowers will be required to make a security deposit at the discretion of the President.

VII         Records

A.    The Board shall maintain original documents regarding accessioned and deaccessioned items and incoming and outgoing loans.  These records shall provide the following information:

1. Identifying description of item and accession or loan number,
2. Name, address and phone number of donor or lender,
3. Signature of donor or lender,
4. Signature of Board or Staff Member receiving the item(s).

The Society cannot dispose of items it does not own.  All deaccessioning records shall be completed in thirty (30) days and the records become permanent records of the institution.

B.    All records are to be safeguarded from damage and loss.  Duplicate off site records will be maintained where possible.  Information in these records is considered privileged and will not be divulged except at the discretion of the President:

VIII         Preservation

The Society will maintain and protect items by proper handling and a good storage environment Guidelines includes:

A.           Regulation of temperature, humidity and light on a 24 hour basis;

B.            Development of a disaster preparedness plan;

C.            Development of an access policy;

D.           Use of archival storage materials;

E.            Removal of staples, brads, paper clips and rubber bands without damage to the item;

F.            Rules for researchers to include the following:

1.     Use a pencil, no pens; do not mark or trace materials
2.     No food or drink in Society research room;
3.     Use only a limited number of folders, books or boxes at a time;
4.     Do not remove material from the Society
5.     Do not rearrange materials, if something appears to be out of order, please notify staff;
6.     Briefcases and other non-essential items are to be left at the desk;
7.     Staff reserves the right to inspect all research materials and personal articles before a patron leaves the premises;
8.     Requiring researchers to register, see IX, Access Policy, Section B., registration places copyright responsibility on the researcher;
9.     No personal computer, camera, camera phones, or other electronic equipment may be used to photograph or videotape the collection while visiting or researching, without the approval of a Board Member.
IX.         Access Policy

A.           Hours of operation are Thursdays 1 – 4pm and Saturdays 11am – 3pm.

B.            Researchers must register giving name, address, phone number and the nature of their research.  With their signature, they will acknowledge that they have read, understand and agree to abide by all rules governing research at the Historical Society.

C.            An available Board Member will do all copying and scanning of materials.

D.           Due to staff limitation, time constraints and the condition of materials, delivery of the requested copying/scanning will depend on the amount of copying/scanning requested and will be at the discretion of the staff to assist.

E.            All materials will be re-shelved by the staff.

F.            Any research done by correspondence will require a letter or email with specific information and specific requests.  Cost will be $10 per hour for research, plus copying and postage costs.  There is a minimum fee of $5 for any research.  Any materials ordered for purchase, such as books will require advance payment.

G.           The staff will handle all photograph reproductions and scans.  Only jpg scans will be made from prints in the Society’s collection.  There will be a $5.00 handling charge for all orders.  Mailing charges will be additional.  Any scanned photo or drawing used in publication for profit shall carry a credit line giving the East Point Historical Society, Inc. credit.  The $5.00 fee is required at the time an order is placed.

H.           The staff may refuse access to any archival item in its collection due to condition, value, staff limitation or sensitivity of contents.