Market Lavington Museum
Acquisition and Disposal Policy
To be approved by the Board of Market Lavington Museum
Due for review in March 2018
1 Existing 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.
The Museum's collections number in excess of 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.
2 Criteria governing future collecting policy
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
3 Period of time and/or geographical area to which collecting relates
The Museum was established to collect, safeguard and make accessible objects to provide a record of all aspects of life in Market Lavington and Easterton (both areas defined by their parish boundaries), and enable people to explore its collection for inspiration, learning and enjoyment.
With the exception of the objects and documents relating to the Saxon burial site, mentioned above, most of the objects in the collection fall within the period 1800 to the present, with most dating from 1875 onwards. Storage space is now at a premium, therefore the Museum will ensure that it applies its policy of collecting material relating to Market Lavington and Easterton much more strictly than in the past.
4 Limitations on collecting
The museum recognises its responsibility, in acquiring additions to its collections, to ensure that care of collections, documentation arrangements and use of collections will meet the requirements of the Accreditation Standard. It will take into account limitations on collecting imposed by such factors as inadequate staffing, storage and care of collection arrangements.
5 Collecting policies of other museums
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 conflict of interest may arise or to define areas of specialisms, in order to avoid unnecessary duplication and waste of resources. In particular, reference will be made to the collecting policies of the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office and all those museums and organisations within the remit of the County Museum Service of Wiltshire.
6 Policy review procedure
The Acquisition and Disposal Policy will be published and reviewed from time to time, at least once every five years. The date when the policy is next due for review is noted above. The Regional Agency (Arts Council, England) will be notified of any changes to the Acquisition and Disposal Policy, and the implications of any such changes for the future of existing collections.
7. Acquisitions not covered by the policy
Acquisitions outside the current stated policy will only be made in very exceptional circumstances, and then only after proper consideration by the governing body of the museum itself, having regard to the interests of other museums.
8. Acquisition procedures
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 8a, 8b, Bc, or Be 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.
The Honorary Curator has the authority to accept or reject gifts or
bequests of any items coming within the criteria of the museums' agreed collecting policy.
The Honorary Curator may purchase items within the criteria of the agreed collecting policy up to the limit of £50. Such purchases will be reported to the Board of Trustees at the earliest convenient time. The Board has authority to purchase items costing over £50.
Only the Trustees have the authority to accept or reject loans coming within the criteria of the agreed collecting policy. The Trustees will be notified of proposed loans, together with the recommendations of the museum officers, at its full meetings.
Loans may be short term or long term, but must be for a specific period of time and be supported by legal documents specifying the terms of the loan. It is understood that the term "permanent loan" has not legal status.
The valuation of loans for insurance purposes will be the responsibility of the Honorary Curator in conjunction with the owner.
It is now the agreed policy of the Trustees not to accept any loans except under very exceptional circumstances.
The museum will use the statement of principles "Spoliation of Works of Art during the Nazi, Holocaust and World War II period" issued for non-national museums in 1999 by the Museums and Galleries Commission. This is not seen as a likely problem at Market Lavington Museum.
10 Repatriation and restitution
The museum's governing body, acting on the advice of the museum's professional staff, if any, may take a decision to return human remains, objects or specimens to a country or people of origin. The museum will take such decisions on a case by case basis, within its legal position and taking into account all ethical implications.
11 Management of archives
As the museum holds archives, including photographs and printed ephemera, its governing body will be guided by the Code of Practice on Archives for museums and galleries in the United Kingdom (3rd edition 2002).
12 Disposal procedures
a) By definition, the museum has a long-term purpose and should possess (or intend to acquire) permanent collections in relation to its stated objectives. The governing body accepts the principle that, except for
sound curatorial reasons, there is a strong presumption against the disposal of any items in the museum's collection.
b) The museum will establish that it is legally free to dispose of an item. Any decision to dispose of material from the collections will be taken only after due consideration.
c) 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.
d) Decisions to dispose of items will not be made with the principal aim of generating funds.
e) Any monies received by the museum governing body from the disposal of items will be applied for the benefit of the collections. This normally means the purchase of further acquisitions but in exceptional cases
improvements relating to the care of collections may be justifiable. Advice on these cases will be sought from MLA.
f) 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), 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 of the collection acting alone.
g) Once a decision to dispose of material in the collection has been taken, priority will be given to retaining it within the public domain, unless it is to be destroyed. It will therefore be offered in the first instance, by gift, exchange or sale, directly to other Accredited Museums likely to be interested in its acquisition.
h) If the material is not acquired by any Accredited Museums to which it was offered directly, then the museum community at large will be advised of the intention to dispose of the material, normally through an
announcement in the Museums Association's Museums Journal and in other professional journals where appropriate.
i) The announcement 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.
j) Full records will be kept of all decisions on disposals and the items involved and the proper arrangements made for the preservation and/or transfer, as appropriate, of the documentation relating to the items concerned, including photographic records where practicable in accordance with SPECTRUM procedures on de-accession and disposal.
This statement will be reviewed by the Trustees on or before March 2018 (see paragraph 6 above ).