Collections development policy
Name of museum: Market Lavington Museum
Name of governing body: Market Lavington Museum Board
Date on which this policy was approved by governing body: May 2015
Policy review procedure: May 2018
The collections development policy will be published and reviewed from time to time, at least once every five years.
Date at which this policy is due for review: May 2018
Arts Council England/CyMALwill be notified of any changes to the collections development policy, and the implications of any such changes for the future of collections.
1. Relationship to other relevant policies/plans of the organisation:
1.1. The Museum seeks to collect and interpret items that celebrate the history of Market Lavington and Easterton and is committed to encouraging participation in cultural activities by local communities and visitors, for the benefit and enjoyment of all.
1.2. The governing body will ensure that both acquisition and disposal are carried out openly and with transparency.
1.3. By definition, the museum has a long-term purpose and holds collections in trust for the benefit of the public in relation to its stated objectives. The governing body therefore accepts the principle that sound curatorial reasons must be established before consideration is given to any acquisition to the collection, or the disposal of any items in the museumís collection.
1.4. Acquisitions outside the current stated policy will only be made in exceptional circumstances.
1.5. The museum recognises its responsibility, when acquiring additions to its collections, to ensure that care of collections, documentation arrangements and use of collections will meet the requirements of the Museum Accreditation Standard. This includes using SPECTRUM primary procedures for collections management. It will take into account limitations on collecting imposed by such factors as staffing, storage and care of collection arrangements.
1.6. The museum will undertake due diligence and make every effort not to acquire, whether by purchase, gift, bequest or exchange, any object or specimen unless the governing body or responsible officer is satisfied that the museum can acquire a valid title to the item in question.
1.7. The museum will not undertake disposal motivated principally by financial reasons
2. History of the collections
Market Lavington Museum was established in 1984, and was incorporated under the Companies Act in the same year. It is housed in the old schoolmaster's house, which was built in 1846. The building is leased to the Market Lavington Museum Company by the Earl of Radnor, and in 2005 the lease was renegotiated and extended until March 2022. In 2005 the Museum was awarded a grant of £10,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund Your Heritage Fund, with additional funding from Community First:Sustain the Plain. These monies paid for a new roof, and enabled the Museum to improve user services, for example by developing education packs for schools.
3. An overview of current collections
The Museum's collections number abou 8000 objects as at 2015. The main categories are as follows:
b) Costume and textiles
d) Domestic life
g) Local societies
h) Photographs relating to local trades and businesses, village events, inhabitants and activities. The earliest photographs date back to c1870
There is also a collection of object and documents relating to the excavation of the Saxon burial ground in the village, on loan from Wessex Archaeology.
Highlights of the collection include the photographs and the documents relating to village events and activities, such as Hospital Weeks.
4. Themes and priorities for future collecting
The Museum will acquire items originating from, used in or having connections with the parishes of Market Lavington and Easterton, within the following categories:-
a) Working Life: crafts and industries, agricultural and rural life, town and village trade and economy
b) Domestic Life: costume, household economy, leisure pursuits
c) Community Life: education, religion, national and local government d) Oral History recordings of members of the community
5. Themes and priorities for rationalisation and disposal
5.1††† The museum does not intend to dispose of collections during the period covered by this policy.†
Rationalisation and disposals are seen as a last resort by the museum board but items will be disposed of if theyb represent a hazard to health and safety and no other remedial action is possible.
5 Legal and ethical framework for acquisition and disposal of items
6.1 The museum recognises its responsibility to work within the parameters of the Museum Association Code of Ethics when considering acquisition and disposal.
7 Collecting policies of other museums
7.1 The museum will take account of the collecting policies of other museums and other organisations collecting in the same or related areas or subject fields. It will consult with these organisations where conflicts of interest may arise or to define areas of specialism, in order to avoid unnecessary duplication and waste of resources.
7.2 Specific reference is made to the following museum(s)/organisation(s):
The Wiltshire Museum, Devizes which is the designated local museum for archaeology.
8 Archival holdings
9.1 The policy for agreeing acquisitions is:
a) The museum will exercise due diligence and make every effort not toacquire, whether by purchase, gift, bequest or exchange, any object or specimen unless the governing body or responsible officer is satisfied that the museum can acquire a valid title to the item in question.
b) In particular, the museum will not acquire any object or specimen unless it is satisfied that the object or specimen has not been acquired in, or exported from, its country of origin (or any intermediate country in which it may have been legally owned) in violation of that country's laws. (For the purposes of this paragraph 'country of origin' includes the United Kingdom).
c) In accordance with the provisions of the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, which the UK ratified with effect from November 1 2002, and the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003, the museum will reject any items that have been illicitly traded. The governing body will be guided by the national guidance on the responsible acquisition of cultural property issued by DCMS in 2005.
d) So far as biological and geological material is concerned, the museum will not acquire by any direct or indirect means any specimen that has been collected, sold or otherwise transferred in contravention of any national or international wildlife protection or natural history conservation law or treaty of the United Kingdom or any other country, except with the express consent of an appropriate outside authority.
e) The museum will not acquire archaeological antiquities (including excavated ceramics) in any case where the governing body or responsible officer has any suspicion that the circumstances of their recovery involved a failure to follow the appropriate legal procedures, such as reporting finds to the landowner or occupier of the land and to the proper authorities in the case of possible treasure as defined by the Treasure Act 1996 (in England, Northern Ireland and Wales) or reporting finds through the Treasure Trove procedure (in Scotland).
f) Any exceptions to the above clauses a, b,c, d or e will only be because the museum is either:
Acting as an externally approved repository of last resort for material of local (UK) origin, or
.Acquiring an item of minor importance that lacks secure ownership history but in the best judgement of experts in the field concerned has not been illicitly traded, or
.Acting with the permission of authorities with the requisite jurisdiction in the country of origin, or
.In possession of reliable documentary evidence that the item was exported from its country of origin before 1970
In these cases the museum will be open and transparent in the way it makes decisions and will act only with the express consent of an appropriate outside authority.
When considering acquisitions, the museum will not normally accept any gift, bequest or loan to which any special conditions apply ( eg that the items will be permanently displayed, kept in a special gallery etc), except where such conditions are intended to protect the item against disposal. In such a case the Board of Market Lavington Museum will be responsible for making the decision on acceptance.
9.2 The museum will not acquire any object or specimen unless it is satisfied that the object or specimen has not been acquired in, or exported from, its country of origin (or any intermediate country in which it may have been legally owned) in violation of that countryís laws. (For the purposes of this paragraph Ďcountry of originí includes the United Kingdom).
9.3 In accordance with the provisions of the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, which the UK ratified with effect from November 1 2002, and the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003, the museum will reject any items that have been illicitly traded. The governing body will be guided by the national guidance on the responsible acquisition of cultural property issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2005.
10 Human remains
10.1 The museum does not hold or intend to acquire any human remains.
10 Biological and geological material
11.1 So far as biological and geological material is concerned, the museum will not acquire by any direct or indirect means any specimen that has been collected, sold or otherwise transferred in contravention of any national or international wildlife protection or natural history conservation law or treaty of the United Kingdom or any other country, except with the express consent of an appropriate outside authority.
12 Archaeological material
12.1 The museum will not acquire archaeological material (including excavated ceramics) in any case where the governing body or responsible officer has any suspicion that the circumstances of their recovery involved a failure to follow the appropriate legal procedures. The Wiltshire Museum, Devizes will always be consulted to ensure items of potential interest are stored at the appropriate location.
12.2 In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the procedures include reporting finds to the landowner or occupier of the land and to the proper authorities in the case of possible treasure (i.e. the Coroner for Treasure) as set out in the Treasure Act 1996 (as amended by the Coroners & Justice Act 2009).
13.1 Any exceptions to the above clauses will only be because the museum is:
o acting as an externally approved repository of last resort for material of local (UK) origin
o acting with the permission of authorities with the requisite jurisdiction in the country of origin
In these cases the museum will be open and transparent in the way it makes decisions and will act only with the express consent of an appropriate outside authority. The museum will document when these exceptions occur.
14.1 The museum will use the statement of principles ĎSpoliation of Works of Art during the Nazi, Holocaust and World War II periodí, issued for non-national museums in 1999 by the Museums and Galleries Commission.
14 The Repatriation and Restitution of objects and human remains
15 Disposal procedures
It is not the intention of Markewt Lavington Museum to dispose of any items during the period of this policy. Should any have to be made then:
16.1 All disposals will be undertaken with reference to the SPECTRUM Primary Procedures on disposal.
16.2 The governing body will confirm that it is legally free to dispose of an item. Agreements on disposal made with donors will also be taken into account.
16.3 When disposal of a museum object is being considered, the museum will establish if it was acquired with the aid of an external funding organisation. In such cases, any conditions attached to the original grant will be followed. This may include repayment of the original grant and a proportion of the proceeds if the item is disposed of by sale.
16.4 When disposal is motivated by curatorial reasons the procedures outlined below will be followed and the method of disposal may be by gift, sale, exchange or as a last resort - destruction.
16.5 The decision to dispose of material from the collections will be taken by the governing body only after full consideration of the reasons for disposal. Other factors including public benefit, the implications for the museumís collections and collections held by museums and other organisations collecting the same material or in related fields will be considered. Expert advice will be obtained and the views of stakeholders such as donors, researchers, local and source communities and others served by the museum will also be sought.
16.6 A decision to dispose of a specimen or object, whether by gift, exchange, sale or destruction (in the case of an item too badly damaged or deteriorated to be of any use for the purposes of the collections or for reasons of health and safety), will be the responsibility of the governing body of the museum acting on the advice of professional curatorial staff, if any, and not of the curator or manager of the collection acting alone.
16.7 Once a decision to dispose of material in the collection has been taken, priority will be given to retaining it within the public domain. It will therefore be offered in the first instance, by gift or sale, directly to other Accredited Museums likely to be interested in its acquisition.
16.8 If the material is not acquired by any Accredited museum to which it was offered as a gift or for sale, then the museum community at large will be advised of the intention to dispose of the material normally through a notice on the MAís Find an Object web listing service, an announcement in the Museums Associationís Museums Journal or in other specialist publications and websites.
16.9 The announcement relating to gift or sale will indicate the number and nature of specimens or objects involved, and the basis on which the material will be transferred to another institution. Preference will be given to expressions of interest from other Accredited Museums. A period of at least two months will be allowed for an interest in acquiring the material to be expressed. At the end of this period, if no expressions of interest have been received, the museum may consider disposing of the material to other interested individuals and organisations giving priority to organisations in the public domain.
16.10 Any monies received by the museum governing body from the disposal of items will be applied solely and directly for the benefit of the collections. This normally means the purchase of further acquisitions. In exceptional cases, improvements relating to the care of collections in order to meet or exceed Accreditation requirements relating to the risk of damage to and deterioration of the collections may be justifiable. Any monies received in compensation for the damage, loss or destruction of items will be applied in the same way. Advice on those cases where the monies are intended to be used for the care of collections will be sought from the Arts Council England/CyMAL
16.11 The proceeds of a sale will be allocated so it can be demonstrated that they are spent in a manner compatible with the requirements of the Accreditation standard. Money must be restricted to the long-term sustainability, use and development of the collection.
Disposal by exchange
16.12 The museum will not dispose of items by exchange.
Disposal by destruction
16.13 If it is not possible to dispose of an object through transfer or sale, the governing body may decide to destroy it.
16.14 It is acceptable to destroy material of low intrinsic significance (duplicate mass-produced articles or common specimens which lack significant provenance) where no alternative method of disposal can be found.
16.15 Destruction is also an acceptable method of disposal in cases where an object is in extremely poor condition, has high associated health and safety risks or is part of an approved destructive testing request identified in an organisationís research policy.
16.16 Where necessary, specialist advice will be sought to establish the appropriate method of destruction. Health and safety risk assessments will be carried out by trained staff where required.
16.17 The destruction of objects should be witnessed by an appropriate member of the museum workforce. In circumstances where this is not possible, eg the destruction of controlled substances, a police certificate should be obtained and kept in the relevant object history file.