Presentation on theme: "Museum Property Overview for Interagency Committee of Property Managers Ann Hitchcock, Chief Curator National Park Service January 26, 2006."— Presentation transcript:
Museum Property Overview for Interagency Committee of Property Managers Ann Hitchcock, Chief Curator National Park Service January 26, 2006
What is museum property? Personal property Acquired according to rational scheme Preserved, studied, interpreted for public benefit.
How is museum property classified? Archeology Art Ethnography History Archives (documents, excluding official records) Botany Zoology Paleontology Geology Environmental samples
Personal or Museum Property? Personal and museum property can look the same (e.g., a chair) Determination depends on –Agency mission and authority –Function of the property –Long-term preservation goals
Agency Mission and Authority Is a museum function identified in authorizing legislation? Does a museum function support the agency mission? How might an agency establish a museum function where none exists? –Seek authorizing legislation –Add to mission statements and plans
Example of Evolving Authority National Park Service 1904 Yosemite establishes first park museum collection 1906 Antiquities Act authorizes President to establish national monuments and protect objects of historic or scientific interest 1916 NPS Organic Act establishes NPS to conserve scenery and natural and historic objects..therein…and provide for enjoyment of future generations.
Example of Evolving Authority (NPS continued) 1935 Historic Sites Act authorizes NPS to establish and maintain museums 1955 Museum Act authorizes donations, bequests, exchanges, loans 1996 Museum Act amendment authorizes transfer, conveyance, and destruction (but not sale)
Example of Evolving Authority Department of the Interior Bureaus with varying authority –NPS –DOI Museum –Indian Arts and Crafts Board –USGS 1990 IG audit of accountability and control over artwork and artifacts
Example of Evolving Authority (DOI continued) 1990 DOI asks NPS to lead response to audit Interior museum property committee established 1993 Departmental Manual established standards for managing museum property –Planning and reporting –Documenting acquisitions and disposals, preserving, and protecting
Museum Plans and Reports Scope of Collection Statement Collection Management Plan Housekeeping Plan Integrated Pest Management Plan Emergency Operations Plan Collection Condition Survey Required Reports –Collection Management Report –Checklist for Preservation and Protection –Annual Inventory
Acquisition Acquisition authority Scope of Collection Statement Types of acquisitions –Gift –Purchase –Field Collection –Exchange –Incoming Loan (custody not title)
Acquisition Documentation Accession book/log and accession numbers Ownership transfer document (signed by parties) –Deed of Gift –Purchase document –Exchange agreement Custody document –Receipt for property (field collection) –Loan agreement
Acquisition Documentation (continued) Accession Receiving Report Accession folder Accession database Accession documentation provides data on source, items acquired, type and terms of acquisition
Cataloging Catalog numbers for all items Cataloging in lots acceptable for certain similar items Catalog record provides –Identification –Physical data –Historical data Catalog database facilitates management and research
Deaccession Documentation Deaccession book/log and numbers Deaccession form for review and approval Catalog records Appraisals Public notice Deaccession database facilitates management
Deaccession Documentation (continued) Disposition documents –Receipt for property –Report of survey –Exchange agreement –Transfer of property –Conveyance agreement –Repatriation agreement
Remember! Acquire carefully, according to plan. Deaccessioning is more difficult and often controversial.
Preservation Monitor and control the environment –Temperature –Relative humidity –Light –Pests –Air quality Ensure good housekeeping Assess and document condition of items Provide conservation treatment for items
Protection Secure storage and exhibit spaces Control access to museum spaces and museum property Establish emergency management plan Install and maintain fire detection and suppression systems
Access and Use Ensure public benefit Provide exhibits and publications Offer education programs Provide outgoing loans Provide access for researchers Consider legal issues (copyright, FOIA, reproductions)
Remember! Display ideas not things. Capitalize on the power of context.
Resources: Guidance and Forms NPS Directors Order #24, Collections Management http://www.nps.gov/policy/DOrders/DOrder 24.html NPS Museum Handbook, Parts I-III http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/publications /handbook.html DOI Museum Property Management Standards and Handbook (Departmental Manual Part 411) http://www.doi.gov/museum/policy.htm
More Guidance on the Web NPS Conserve O Gram http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/publications /conserveogram/conserv.html NPS Automated collections management system user manual http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/publications /ancs.html
NPS and DOI Museum and Collections Web Sites http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum Overview http://www.museum.nps.gov Web Catalog http://www.nps.gov/hfc Harpers Ferry Ctr http://science.nature.nps.gov/research/ac/Re searchIndex Scientific Permitting and Collecting http://www.doi.gov/museum/program.htm Interior Museum Program
NPS Policies and Laws Management Policies http://data2.itc.nps.gov/npspolicy/index.cfm Laws http://data2.itc.nps.gov/npspolicy/getlaws.cfm
Contact Information Ann Hitchcock Chief Curator National Park Service 1849 C Street, NW (2202) Washington, DC 20240-0001 202-354-2271 Fax: 202-371-2422 firstname.lastname@example.org