Receipt of Objects Policy
The Spurlock Museum maintains a record of purchases, gifts, loans, and other objects of significant value received by the Museum when those objects are in the Museum’s possession for more than one business day. This policy and its associated procedures provide accountability and protection for the Museum, its staff, and the legal owners of such property.
This policy applies to objects received from any individual or organization, including Museum staff, curators, and professors.
The following types of objects are covered by this policy:
- all gifts and potential gifts, and purchases intended for one of the Museum's collections
- all loans and potential loans
- objects of significant value
- objects that are similar to items in the Museum's collections
The Registrar is responsible for determining which objects are subject to this policy based on purpose, length of time, anticipated use, and location within the Museum.
All objects received by the Museum, regardless of coverage by this policy, should be labeled with ownership information.
Receipt of Objects Procedure
The Receipt of Objects Procedure has five steps:
1) Advance Notification
The Registrar should be notified in advance when objects are to be received by the Museum. If advance notice cannot be given, the Registrar should be notified as soon as possible. The Registrar coordinates with the Collections Management Section as necessary.
2) Record of Receipt
A Record of Receipt is prepared by the Registrar. The Record of Receipt is signed by the Depositor (whether legal owner of the objects or representative of the legal owner) and by the Registration staff or other pre-designated Museum staff member. A photocopy or dual copy is given to the Depositor at time of physical transfer or as soon after as possible. The Depositor is to be informed either verbally or in writing of Museum policy about receiving objects, procedures for processing the objects depending on the purpose of an object’s presence in the Museum, and an expected time frame for final disposition of the objects.
In lieu of the Museum’s Record of Receipt, the Registrar can approve a standard form produced by a depositing institution as long as it appropriately documents the physical transfer of the objects.
For purchases, originals or copies of purchase receipts and shipping documentation may serve as Records of Receipt.
3) Receipt of Objects
The Registrar coordinates with the Collections Management Section in receiving and unpacking objects.
The Collections Management Section is responsible for inspecting objects for infestation and potential hazards. The Registration Section will forward objects to the Collections Management Section for inspection as necessary.
The Registrar is responsible for tracking the object during its time in the Museum.
4) Condition Reports
The Collections Management Section creates a condition report on every incoming loan object and any object intended for the Artifact Collection as soon as possible after receipt. If a change in the condition of an object is identified, the Collections Management Section creates a new condition report, and the Registrar informs the Depositor as soon as possible.
5) Return of Objects (if applicable)
At the time an object is returned, the Registrar creates a Return Record of Receipt, signed by the Depositor and Registrar. In lieu of the Museum’s Return Record of Receipt, the Registrar can approve a standard form produced by a depositing institution as long as it appropriately documents the physical transfer of the objects.
The Registrar will only return objects to individuals who have appropriate authorization. Such proof must be sufficient to satisfy the Director and/or the Museum’s legal counsel.
Upon receiving the Return Record of Receipt, the Registrar will complete all appropriate documentation of the return.