Object Entry and Exit
All objects entering or leaving the museum must be recorded as per the procedures set out below. This includes:
· Items to be used for display purposes (Procedure 1 and 2)
· Items deposited by private donor for identification, copying, or similar (Procedure 1 and 2)
· Groups of items for possible donation (Procedure 3)
· Items to be accessioned into the Museum’s Formal Collection (Procedure 3 and 4)
· Items offered on loan to the Museum (Procedure 9)
· Items on loan from the Museum being returned (Procedure 8)
· Items to be deaccessioned from the Museum (Procedure 5)
· Object History Files (Procedure 10)
Refer to the relevant section depending on the nature of the procedure.
Section 1 Object Entry (SPECTRUM Procedure – Object Entry)
To meet the Spectrum Minimum Standard for Object Entry use of these procedures will:
• Establish the terms and conditions under which objects are being received for deposit;
• Uniquely identify the newly received object or associated group of objects;
• Ensure the organisation is able to account for all objects left in its care;
• Provide a receipt for the owner or depositor;
• Help establish the extent of the organisation's liability;
• Indicate the reason for the receipt of the object;
• Determine a finite end to, or programme for review of, the deposit;
• Enable the object to be returned to the owner or depositor as required;
• Allow for objects and associated records to be checked on entry to ensure that they correspond to any accompanying inventory documentation supplied;
• Establish who has legal title to the object in case of subsequent acquisition;
• Capture key information about the object, to be augmented in the future;
• Inform the decision making process.
Prior to entry and before making a judgement on whether or not to acquire items for the museum it is important to ascertain that:
· (The museum should not collect any offered archaeological/natural history/archive material without reference in the first instance to the Wiltshire Heritage Museum/Salisbury Museum/WSRO)
· Who holds legal title to the objects? The museum should not accept an item unless it can acquire a valid title to it
· Who holds intellectual property rights (eg copyright) to any of the objects?
A record of all new objects entering into the Museum for whatever reason should be entered on an entry form. This includes:
· Date of Entry
· Name, address and telephone number of Depositor and any other Owner if known e.g.
Mr Jones on behalf of Westtown Metal Detector Society
· Brief Description of Item or Group of Items e.g.
Medal Collection of Col Sharpe, comprising 33 medals
Collection of objects relating to late Mrs Smith of High Street comprising; 2 dresses, 4 hats, photographs, documents, suitcase
Model of watermill to be used for display purposes
· Entry/ToT Form Number if used
· Reason for Entry
· Any Agreed Return Date
· Write message in the notebook on the reception desk informing the Curator of the new item. The Curator will decide if the Object is to be Accessioned.
2. Complete Entry Form With Donor (Section 2)
3. Store Object on or by the table in the store room.
All items entering the museum from a private individual or institution should be recorded on an ENTRY/TRANSFER OF TITLE FORM. This includes
The Entry/ToT Forms are to be found under reception desk
1. Use the standard Wiltshire Museums Entry Carbonless Forms. Complete the top/White copy of the form with the donor.
Before beginning to complete the form with the depositor, mention to them the Conditions of Acceptance of objects into the museum printed on reverse of form, and that should they have any future enquiries regarding the objects to quote the Entry Form.
Should the objects be offered as Gift or Purchase it is particularly important to emphasise to the depositor that they are signing the Transfer of Title to the Museum, that no conditions may be attached to the deposit and that any future display/disposal of the object will be entirely in respect of future policy of the Museum.
If the depositor is not the owner of the object, the depositor should confirm that they have the authority to offer the object. The preferred method of doing this would be to have a signed statement from the owner, confirming that the depositor is acting on his/her behalf.
With objects deposited for Identification conditions, 3, 4 and 7 should be particularly pointed out to the depositor.
Conditions 3 and 4 relate to the agreed collection date of the object and subsequent action by the museum.
Condition 7 relates to the liability of the observations made by the museum and to the fact that the museum cannot give valuations of objects (as stipulated in the Museums Association, Code of Ethics
1. Information on the form MUST include:
· Entry Form number (this should be a running number sequence appearing on the top right of the Form (E1, E2, E3 etc). If none is present see the previous number in the Entry Form File sequence.) DO NOT use the space marked Accession No.
· Number of items and brief description of the objects with a note of any damage or deterioration. For a group of items (photographs etc) complete only ONE Entry Form but record Brief Descriptions of the objects on Continuation Sheets.
If it is not possible to count the number of objects deposited, e.g. in the case of a large number of potsherds, photographs etc, indicate the size of the deposit in an appropriately practical way, e.g. '2 boxes'. In this instance, it will be appropriate to assign numbers to groups of objects rather than individual items.
With a large deposit a summary list of objects rather than an itemised list of specimens, may be all that is immediately required.
If using Continuation Sheets, tick the Continuation Sheet box on the Entry Form and write the Entry Form Number on each Continuation Sheet.
· Name and Address (and telephone number if possible) of depositor and owner if different.
· Date of Entry
· Nature of Entry i.e. Gift/Purchase/Enquiry/Bequest/Loan
· Signature of the depositor and museum representative
If an object is being offered for acquisition, record the:
· Proposed object purchase price if appropriate;
· Any historical, provenance or other related information and correspondence about the potential acquisition;
· Object valuation (for insurance or indemnity purposes if required);
· The owner's asking price if it is being offered for sale
If an object is being offered on loan or for research, record the:
· Reference to a loan or other information file;
· Object valuation (for insurance or indemnity purposes only)
· Any other rights associated with the object (e.g. copyright);
· Object valuation (for insurance or indemnity purposes only);
· Agreed return date if on loan or left for identification
2. Give the pink copy of the form to the depositor
3. The archivist will place the White copy of the form in the Museum Entry Form File in Entry Number Order, The file will be found on the file shelf in the store room. Stewards may leave the white form with the object, for the archivist to file later.
4. Place the yellow copy of the form with the objects whilst they are being processed. This is later placed with the white copy in the entry form file or the loans file.
5. If Continuation Sheets are used, the Yellow copy is given to the depositor with their Yellow copy of the Entry Form and the White copy will be placed with the Entry Form in the Entry Form File.
6. If objects are received from donors without completing an entry form, i.e. by post, then the Form should be completed by the Museum as fully as possible and the White and pink copies forwarded to the depositor for a signature, asking for the return of the White copy. A photocopy of the form should be placed in the entry form File until return. The yellow copy should be kept by the objects as before.
7. If the depositor is not known (e.g. items arrive unexpectedly, anonymously, through the post with no details of ownership), record as much detail as possible, including photographs (if legally possible). Include an explanatory note indicating that the depositor was not available to verify details.
Section 3 Accessioning (SPECTRUM Procedure - Acquisition)
The procedure for managing and documenting acquisitions will:
• Ensure that written evidence is obtained of the original title to an object and the transfer of the title to the acquiring organisation;
• Enable the reconciling of acquisition records with objects as part of retrospective documentation, audit and inventory activity;
• Ensure that a unique number is assigned to, and physically associated with, all objects;
• Ensure that accession registers are maintained, describing all acquisitions and listing them by number;
• Ensure that information about the acquisition process is retained;
• Ensure that donors are made aware of the terms on which their gift or bequest is accepted by the organisation;
• Ensure that collecting complies with the organisation's collecting policy, and does not contravene any local, national or international law, treaty or recognised code of practice;
• Ensure a copy of the information in the accession register is made and kept up to date.
All objects accepted for accessioning into the Museum Permanent Collection must conform to conditions described in the Museum Acquisition and Disposal Policy.
Formal accessioning of objects should only be carried out by the Hon Curator or people working under their direction. Accessioning should be completed as soon as possible after it has been decided to acquire something. It may be convenient to accession in batches.
Bequests should only be accessioned once notice has been made to the appropriate extract from the relevant will and after the executor has completed an Entry/ToT form.
Purchases should only be accessioned with reference to the appropriate invoice and receipt and with details of any Grant Aid received.
Items to be included in the Handling Collection or On Short Term Loan should NOT be entered in the Accession Register. These should be recorded under the appropriate procedure.
1. Carry out and record a condition check. Complete a condition report for the object(s) to be acquired.
The condition report should be appropriate to the circumstances. Make a brief note of the condition, e.g. 'Small crack on base', 'Stain on back'. An image or a more comprehensive condition report may be necessary in some cases. Should any major defects/problems be apparent (eg woodworm) then inform the Wiltshire Conservation Laboratory immediately. It may be necessary to record different types of information e.g. the working capacity of large objects or the condition of only a sample of a large group of objects.
If the acquisition comes as a disposal/deaccession from another organisation, it may arrive with an existing condition report. This should be compared with your condition report and any discrepancies between them discussed with the organisation disposing of the object.
2. The Accession details are to be recorded in the MUSEUM ACCESSION REGISTER, to be found on the files shelf in the store room. .
3. Every item is to have an unique individual object number recorded in the format 2001.1; 2001.2; 2001.3; etc
NO LETTER SUFFIXES SHOULD BE USED. NO MORE THAN TWO SUB-NUMBERS SHOULD BE USED
The Accession Register Entry should contain:
· Object Number
· Brief description of Object
· Name and Address of Donor
· Date of Accession
· Entry Form Number
4. A copy of the Museum index card should be sent to the documentation officer at the Wiltshire Museums Service.
5. The item should be Marked or Labelled with its assigned object numbers. Each item will have two numbers. The number preceded by MRKLM:G is the formal accession number. Items will also be given a classification number according to the Market Lavington museum classification system. The prefix letter for costume and accessories is C, for Trades and Occupations is T&O, for Printed Material and Photographs is PM&P and for Household is H.
7. The Accession number should be written on the Entry Form in the top right with the Museums Code preceding. If the form refers to multiple items the individual number assigned to each object should be noted. E.g. MRKLM:G357.1 T&O:137
Section 4 Cataloguing (SPECTRUM Procedures 6)
SPECTRUM Minimum Standard
Cataloguing information must:
· Provide a level of description sufficient to identify an object or group of objects and its differences from other, similar objects;
· Provide an historic archive relating to an object or cross-references to sources where information can be found;
· Be held in a system that allows convenient access using indexes, free-text retrieval, etc.
An object catalogue record is to be created for all new accessions on the MODES Collection Management System. For Retrospective Cataloguing Procedures see below. At present the mandatory fields (see 6 below) will be recorded on a Market Lavington record card and placed in the appropriate box (C, T&O, PM&P or H) in ascending Market Lavington number order. The information is also stored on the ML museum computer and a separate external hard drive
New accessions are to be catalogued as soon as practically possible after accessioning.
If practical complete the Catalogue Record with
reference to both Entry Form and object.
Location and Movement Control (SPECTRUM Procedure Location and Movement Control)
SPECTRUM Minimum Standard:
· Provide a record of the location where an object is normally displayed or stored;
· Provide a record of the location of an object when it is not at its normal location;
· Enable access to location information by, at the very least, object number and by location name;
· Provide an up-to-date record of the relocation of an object within the physical or administrative boundaries of the organisation;
· Provide an up-to-date record of any movement of an object across the physical or administrative boundaries of the organisation;
· Provide a record of the person responsible for moving an object;
· The curator is the only person to authorise movement of objects.
· Provide a history of an object's previous locations, while in the organisation's care.
Whenever an object is moved from its permanent location to another location e.g., From Display to the Store, To Conservation, On Loan the curator will inform the documentation officer for Wiltshire Museums.
The Permanent Location Field should be in the form Store….Rack…Shelf….Box e.g.:
Store Main Rack 1 Shelf 3 Box 2
Gallery Case 7
If the object moves location for less than six months, (eg on loan or temporary exhibition) use Temporary Location rather than Permanent Location.
If applicable a Temporary Location card should be placed in the former location (in box or on shelf) stating reason for move. A note of the new permanent or temporary location should be made on the Market Lavington record card.
Items returning to store must be correctly packed and stored in the appropriate environmental conditions.
Items going on display must be monitored for the appropriate environmental conditions particularly light and UV radiation.
Section 6 Labelling and Marking (Spectrum Procedure – Acquisition)
On accession of an item into the Museum Collection or Archive it should be marked with its given Object Number in the accepted manner as detailed in the mda Factsheet LABELLING AND MARKING MUSEUM OBJECTS
Any queries on these procedures or the correct method to use for a certain type of object refer to the Conservation Laboratory.
Labelling and Marking (SPECTRUM Procedure 3)
SPECTRUM Minimum Standard:
· Ensure that legal requirements and the organisation's policy are fulfilled when objects leave its premises;
· Ensure that the organisation is able to account for the exit of all objects from its premises, including those which have been deposited as offers or for identification or loaned;
· Ensure that location information for accessioned objects leaving the organisation's premises is maintained;
· Ensure that all objects leave with appropriate authorisation;
· Ensure that a signature of acceptance from the recipient is always obtained when transferring custody of an object between parties. Where the first recipient is a courier it may also be necessary to get a signature from the person or organisation to which it is being delivered.
All objects accepted for Disposal from the Museum and Archive Collections must conform to points laid out in the Museum Acquisition and Disposal Policy. Proposals for Disposal should be first agreed by the Museum Committee.
All items or group of items leaving the museum should be recorded on an EXIT FORM. This includes
1 Items no longer required/not meeting conditions of the Acquisition Policy to be deaccessioned by the Museum
2 Return of items or groups of items on loan to the Museum, for display, research or copying
3 Items or groups of items deposited in the Museum for Identification
4 Items to be sent outside the Museum for Conservation
5 Items going On Loan from the Museum to another museum (see Procedure Loan Out)
Use the standard Carbonless Exit Form. Information on the form MUST include:
· Exit Form number (this should be a running number sequence appearing on the top right of the Form; X1, X2, X3 etc
· Entry Form Number (if relevant)
· Name and Address (and telephone number if possible) of any remover and recipient.
· Date of Exit
· Reason for Removal e.g. Disposal/Transfer/Exchange/Conservation
· Object numbers
· Brief description of the objects
· Condition of Items
· Signature of the remover
· Signature of museum representative
· Valuation if required for indemnity or insurance
2 Give the GREEN copy of the form to the remover
3 Place the BLUE copy of the form in the Museum Exit File in Exit Number Order, to be found on the files shelf in the store room.
4 If appropriate make a note in the Accession register as to Date of Disposal
5 If appropriate amend the MODES record
SPECTRUM Minimum Standard:
· Ensure that all loan requests are assessed according to the organisation's policy;
· Ensure that there are written agreements signed by both borrower and lender before the loan commences;
· Ensure that the loan is for a finite period;
· Ensure that the organisation retains a record of all loans, including details of the borrower, the venues, the loan period and the purpose of the loan;
· Enable effective control of the loan process;
· Ensure that the borrower confirms their intent and ability to provide an acceptable level of care, security and safekeeping for the object and to conform to the conditions of loan specified;
· Ensure that the loaned objects are covered by insurance or indemnity as appropriate for the duration of the loan period.
Any request for an item to be loaned from the Museum must meet with the Conditions for Loan as laid out in the Museum’s Collection Management Policy. All items which meet this criteria and are available for loan are to be recorded on a LOAN FORM.
Note: The Museum does not allow any item to be ‘borrowed’, any requests to remove items from the Museum or Archive Collection are to be treated as Loans
No Loan shall be agreed without reference to the Curator and if necessary the Museum Committee
1 Use the standard carbonless EXIT FORM from the tray. When dealing with a request for loan make the borrower aware of the conditions required as laid out on the reverse of the Form. When completing the Exit Form the information must include:
· Name and Address (and telephone number if possible) of borrower and institution
· Date of Required Loan
· Nature of Loan e.g. exhibition, research
· List of objects required including object numbers
· Brief description of the objects with a note of any damage or deterioration (also to be recorded on a Condition Report)
· Insurance Valuation
· Signature of the borrower
· Signature of the museum representative
· Agreed return date
2 Give the GREEN copy of the form to the remover
3 Place the BLUE copy of the form in the Museum Loan Out File in Exit Number Order, to be found on shelf 2 (Accession Books) in the Cabinet in the Main Office.
4 Note in Accession Register the item is On Loan
All items out on loan from the Museum should be audited by the Museum at least once per year – but we only sanction short term loans so items will have been returned to the museum within a one year period.
Any item offered on loan to the Museum must meet with the Conditions for Loans In as laid out in the Museum’s Acquisition and Disposal Policy (7.0). All items, which meet this criteria and are available for loan are to be recorded on an ENTRY/TRANSFER OF TITLE FORM and treated as per Section 1 (Object Entry).
SPECTRUM Minimum Standard:
· Establish the purpose of the loan
· Enable at least the same care of the borrowed object as if it were part of the permanent collections
· Include written agreements signed by both borrower and lender before the loan commences, as appropriate to the collection
· Ensure that the terms and conditions of loan are adhered to
· Ensure that all loans are for fixed periods
· Ensure a written record of the loan is retained
· Enable effective control of the loan process
· Enable the provision of information about the borrower and the loan as requested by the lender
· Provide insurance or indemnity cover for the loan period
· Ensure that up-to-date information about the location of borrowed objects is maintained
· Ensure that up-to-date information about the security of borrowed objects is maintained
· Ensure that up-to-date information about the physical well-being of borrowed objects is maintained, including the environment and condition of the objects
All Loans in to the museum should be for a stated, fixed, time period that may be renewable. The museum shall NOT accept any item on Permanent Loan.
1. Record the entry of all items in the Loan Register. This is to be found on the files shelf in the store.
2. Record the Loan on the standard Entry Carbonless Forms. Complete the top/White copy of the form with the lender. Information on the form MUST include:
· Entry Form number (this should be a running number sequence appearing on the top left of the Form (E1, E2, E3 etc). If none is present see the previous number in the File sequence) DO NOT use the space marked MUSEUM NO.
· If a separate loan number is allocated, record this on the entry form. Otherwise assign a unique number, normally the Entry number, to each object or associated group of objects. Record this number assigned in the loan documentation. It is recommended that a removable tag carrying the unique number is attached to the object to assist tracking and identification.
· Name and Address and telephone number of lender
· Date of Entry
· Nature of Entry, i.e., which exhibition/display the item is required for
· Brief description of the objects with a note of any damage or deterioration
· Insurance valuation if an agreement has been made for the museum to provide insurance cover whilst on the museum premises
· Any special conditions attached to the loan
· Signature of the lender and museum representative
· Any copyright or other reproduction clauses
· Agreed return date
Mention to the lender that should they have any future enquiries regarding the objects to quote the Entry Form No
3. Give the White copy of the form to the depositor
4. Place the pink copy of the form in the Museum Entry/ToT File in Entry Number Order, to be found on the files shelf in the store.
5. Place the yellow copy of the form with the objects whilst they are being processed the in the Loans In File
6. Record Long Term Loans in the Loan Book
7. Amend all records on Expiry of Loan and Update with either Return or Renewal Information
On return of the loan, obtain and retain written confirmation from lenders that the object has been received in a satisfactory state. Follow up any action that may be required, e.g. insurance or indemnity claims.
If the owner has died since the object was received, contact the executor if known. If current legal ownership of the object is in any doubt, and/or authorised signatures are not obtainable, seek professional legal advice.
It may be necessary to take advice from the organisation's normal source of legal advice as to the steps which should be taken if the original owner of a deposited or loaned item cannot be contacted, with a view to either:
· Acquiring the object;
· Disposing of the object within the organisation's disposal policy if the object is not desired by the organisation.
However, any further action should only be undertaken after a period of due diligence, where reasonable efforts to trace the original owner have failed. Legal advice should be sought with regards to the Torts (interference with Goods) Act 1977 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 before proceeding on either course of action.
If a loaned object is subsequently acquired by the borrowing organisation, process it as an acquisition.
Section 10 Object History
Market Lavington Museum does not have object history files, but notes on the history/use/provenance of the items are on the record cards.