Collection Management Policy

Table of Contents



Mission, Vision, Values


We exist to...
Turn on the science: Inspire learning. Inform policy. Improve lives.


We envision...
A world in which all people have the power to use science to make lives better.


We value...
Collaboration: We get the job done together.

Equity: We reject oppressive norms and practice authentic inclusion to achieve collective liberation.

Learning: We are curious and take risks to grow.

Statement of Collections

The Museum amasses collections through donations, purchases, and as the material documentation of scientific investigations. They are an invaluable resource for future scientific research and education, and they create a tangible link between our audiences and the world. Physical and intellectual access to the Museum's collections is integral to its mission. This Policy defines the parameters that allow the Museum to strike a balance between maintaining the collections in the best possible condition while encouraging their use in furthering our understanding of the world’s natural history and cultural heritage.

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Scope of collections

The Museum houses and maintains permanent, accessioned collections of objects that are preserved and managed for research, exhibition, and education. The permanent collections include artifacts and specimens from the disciplines of ethnology, archaeology, biology and paleontology. The ethnology collection contains artifacts from cultures worldwide, with an emphasis American Indian, Hmong, and Mexican material culture. The archaeology collection has a primary focus in regional and North American Indian artifacts. The biology collection is primarily regional in scope with strengths in small mammals, birds, butterflies, freshwater mollusks, and marine shells. The paleontology collection represents regional and global vertebrate collections with primary emphasis on dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles and fish.

The Museum also maintains education collections consisting of objects used for hands-on education and exhibition. A certain amount of wear and tear, or even eventual destruction, is to be expected. These objects are not accessioned and do not require the same procedures as the permanent collection. Addition or removal of objects for the education collections is at the discretion of Curators, Collections Managers, and other Museum staff.

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This section of the Policy summarizes the responsibilities of the governing authority, relevant committees, and staff to document the collections and oversee their use in research and education while preserving them for the future.

The Board of Trustees has ultimate responsibility for the preservation and protection of the permanent collection. They have ultimate fiduciary responsibility and insure that all activities and programs are consistent with the mission.

The President, as chief executive of the Museum, is directly accountable to the Board for the overall administration and management of the Museum. As such, the President is responsible for the effective custody and administration of the Museum’s collections and the implementation of the Collections Management Policy.

The responsibility of the Center of Research and Collections (CRC) is to provide vision, context, and content for science at the Museum through the support and conduct of scholarly research, and through the appropriate acquisition, management, care, and presentation of collections.

The Chair of The Center of Research and Collections oversees curatorial, collections, and conservation staff who are tasked with the day-to-day management of the Museum’s collection.

The Collections Department ensures the physical integrity of, protects and maintains the intellectual content for, and provide access to the collections and their documentation for museum staff, outside researchers, and the public.

The Curators’ primary responsibility is the integrity and strategic growth of the permanent collections. This responsibility includes collecting, curation, scholarly research, and exhibit and program consultation.

The Conservator applies science to the technical study, preservation, and treatment of Museum collections. Following a risk management-based preventive conservation approach the Conservator monitors environmental conditions, manages pest control, and advises on using appropriate materials and handling techniques to mitigate object deterioration. The Registrar is responsible for managing centralized collection records pertaining to the objects for which the Museum has assumed responsibility.

The Registrar audits collection activities and ensures documented compliance within the Museum of all policies, procedures, professional standards and legislation pertaining to collections. They also develop, update, and implement policies and procedures pertaining to the acquisition, management, and disposition of collections.

Collections Managers manage specific collections by providing access and day-to-day care. This includes preserving, documenting, sorting, identifying, and maintaining the collections.

The Accessions Committee is managed by the Registrar and is composed of the Chair of the CRC, the heads of each curatorial department, the Conservator, the Registrar, and other staff as requested. The Accessions Committee reviews criteria and makes recommendations for accessions, deaccessions, and revisions to collections-related policies. All Committee actions require a majority vote of the standing members of the Committee. The Committee meets quarterly to discuss, approve, and make recommendations regarding collections issues to the President.

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The Museum works to ensure that collections held in its care and stewardship support its mission and public trust responsibilities. The Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers abide by the Museum’s Code of Ethics (, the American Alliance of Museums Code of Ethics (2000), and other appropriate standards and codes of ethics established by professional disciplines. The Museum has a unique obligation to its collections and the value that they hold for society. The ethical obligation of the Museum is to apply the appropriate high standard of stewardship. As such, the Museum manages, maintains, and conserves objects in its ownership or care according to the best practices and standards of the discipline they represent.


Protection of habitats/sites

The Museum does not actively collect or accept collections that have knowingly involved the unnecessary destruction of habitats and sites, or if such collecting activity negatively impacts the existence of a given population that is endangered or threatened. In all actions, the Museum and its 7 Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers must act ethically and responsibly with the goal of preserving and guarding the biological and cultural heritage of the world.


The Museum does not knowingly acquire any object whose ownership in this state or country is questionable. Museum employees authorized to acquire objects for the permanent collections reasonably ensure that clear and legal title can be transferred to and obtained by the Museum and accomplish through due diligence that the title is clear and valid. Competing claims of ownership that are asserted in connection with objects in its custody are handled openly, seriously, responsively and with respect for the dignity of all parties involved.


The Museum does not knowingly or willfully accept or acquire any object illegally imported into or illegally collected in the United States. Due diligence is pursued to ensure that items considered for acquisition have been collected and imported in full compliance with the laws and regulations of the federal government of the United States and of the individual states. All items collected in foreign countries must also have been obtained in compliance with the laws of those countries. Confiscated objects offered to the Museum by the proper authority may be accessioned by the Museum if they meet accession criteria.

Ethical acquisition

The Museum does not acquire materials that were alienated unethically from their country or culture of origin. The Museum seeks alternative disposition of any such items that come into, or are discovered in, the museum’s physical custody. The Museum will not accept any object whose circumstance of collection is unethical or contrary to the goals and good practices of the Museum or the museum profession in general.

Standards of Care

No material should be acquired for which the Museum cannot guarantee proper and permanent care.

Cultural sensitivities

The Museum will seek to mitigate--wherever practicable, and in line with the Museum’s mission and governing principles--all conflicts between standard museum practice and the specific sensitivities and cultural needs of descendant communities. Under the general term of “traditional care,” these strategies may include, but are not limited to, specific storage arrangements, posted advisories, and community access for cultural use. 


The Museum does not acquire any object that would violate the conditions of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) as it pertains to North American Indians. For further detail see Procedures for Compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) (Appendix A). 8

Availability of Collections

The public, in whose trust the collections are maintained, must have reasonable access to the collections on a nondiscriminatory basis. The Museum ensures that access to the collections and related information is permitted and regulated within guidelines presented in its Collections Management Policy and in compliance with national standards.

Personal Gain

Upon entering a relationship with the Museum, the Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers must refrain from any collecting activities in competition with the Museum. Care must be exercised to assure that no conflict, or appearance of conflict, arises with the Museum. The Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers must not personally compete with the Museum for acquisitions in which the Museum has an interest. They may not use their museum affiliation to promote their personal collecting activities. In all situations, the Museum’s formally and specifically stated collecting needs take precedence over those of the individual. Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers must never abuse their Museum affiliation. Collections are not available to any individual for personal use, either on or off the premises, or for any other purpose contrary to the Museum’s mission and purpose. 

Appraisals and ID


Staff do not provide the public with monetary appraisals for objects. Internal monetary appraisals may be made by staff for loans, insurance, and other purposes related to museum function. Appraisals required for tax deduction purposes are the responsibility of the donor.


Staff may assist the general public with identification of objects and suggest additional research sources, but do not provide a written estimate of authenticity. Neither staff nor the Museum are liable for informal statements concerning the authenticity of objects.


No person associated with the Museum, nor any representative or relative of such a person, may acquire an object deaccessioned from the Museum. These representatives may not directly or personally gain or benefit from object deaccessions.

All funds realized from the sale of objects are placed in a restricted account reserved for acquisition of collections per professional standards set forth by the American Alliance of Museums. The Accessions Committee maintains oversight of the fund.

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Found In Collections (FIC) objects can be similar in type and quality to the Permanent Collection, but are found in collections storage areas with no museum number, nor any obvious characteristics associating them to any original documentation.

FIC objects also include undocumented, unsolicited gifts dropped off at the museum or mailed to the museum.

FIC objects are described, labeled, and tracked by the Registrar. While in the Museum’s possession, FIC objects are cared for in the same manner as objects in the collections, but are stored separately as much as possible to avoid or limit any confusion between formally processed objects and FIC’s.

The Museum follows notification and claim regulations outlined by Minnesota Statute 345.73 of the Minnesota Museum Property Act, entitled Acquiring Title to Undocumented Property (

Should the Museum wish to retain ownership of an FIC object, it may be accessioned into the collection following current accessioning procedures, though such objects must be designated as “Found in Collection.” Documentation of all attempts to contact the original owner are be maintained permanently in the accession file, as well as copies of all public notices and/or subsequent paperwork relating to it.

Should the Museum decide to dispose of an FIC object, it is evaluated, recommended for removal, and disposed of following current deaccessioning procedures. Documentation of the entire process is be maintained in a Found in Collections file. 

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The Science Museum of Minnesota defines accessioning as the formal process used to legally accept and to record an object as a permanent collections item. It involves the creation of an immediate and permanent record using a control number or unique identifier for objects added to the permanent collections from the same source at the same time, and for which the institution accepts custody, rights, or title. The documentation includes how the material was acquired, its provenance, and all subsequent transactions.

Priorities for Accessions

First Priority
Accessions that strengthen collections areas in which the Museum has a current specialization and historical interest, especially when these areas are threatened by the activities of nature, human habitation, or cultural change (see Scope of Collections section above).

Second Priority
Accessions that broaden the comparative base of our collections areas, especially when these materials strengthen a previously established collection, or where they intersect with the interests of our key users and audiences.

Criteria for Accessions

The museum evaluates all accession proposals on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria:

  • Object is relevant to the Museum’s mission and within the Scope of Collections.
  • Object contributes to the Museum’s research, exhibition, and/or education priorities. 
  • The Museum intends to keep the object in the collection for the foreseeable future. 
  • Object does not pose a threat to the safety of the public, staff, or other collections items beyond the ability of the staff and facilities to manage. 
  • The Museum is able to provide professional standards of management, care, and accessibility for the object. 
  • Documentation of clear and legal title exists, including a legal instrument of conveyance, setting forth an accurate description of the objects involved and the precise condition of transfer of ownership. 
  • Objects must be free of any restrictions or conditions, an exception to which is made only in extraordinary circumstances in consultation with legal counsel. 
  • Objects subject to copyright are accompanied by documentation of the transfer of copyrights or by documentation identifying copyright status as long as such status is acceptable for the Museum.  Objects have been collected, acquired, imported or exported in full compliance with the laws and regulations of the country or countries of origin, the federal government of the United States, and individual states within the United States. 
  • Objects must have documentation of origin, provenance, previous ownership, and circumstances of acquisition by owner or adequate accounting of such as determined by the Accessions Committee.

Approval Procedures

Any members of the Accessions Committee may propose materials for accessioning. The Accessions Committee weighs the Criteria for Accessions and makes recommendations. Final approval of the accession follows contract approval guidelines as determined by the Board of Trustees.


When an object is accepted as part of the Museum’s permanent collection, it is accessioned by completing the documentation and assigning a unique accession number. An accession number is assigned to a collection acquired from a single source at one time. All permanent collection items acquired by the Museum are formally accessioned.

A legal instrument of conveyance or contract setting forth an adequate description of the items involved and the precise conditions of transfer, should accompany all accessions and should be kept on file at the Museum. This document should be signed by the seller or donor, or their legal representative, and by an authorized Museum representative.

Reporting Accessions

Accessions are reported annually to the Board of Trustees.

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Documentation records form an integral part of an object’s history and are of primary importance in understanding the object. Records also provide the means by which the Museum establishes its right to legally retain objects.

Collection objects are documented as accurately and fully as possible using professional standards and procedures as established by Curators, Collections Managers, the Registrar, and the Conservator. Careful and explicit record keeping allows the Museum to know an object’s provenance, provenience, condition, location, use, legal status and to systematically classify and catalog objects.

Activities associated with collections are carefully documented including accessions, deaccessions, dispositions, and incoming and outgoing loans.

It is the policy of the Museum to maintain accurate, timely, secure, and complete records. Paper records are an integral part of the collections records and are be maintained in a stable and secure environment with controlled access.

The Museum maintains a centralized electronic collections management system (CMS). As with paper records, the CMS contains collection information that must be maintained in perpetuity. The Museum Technology department of the Museum is responsible for ensuring that the CMS is backed up on a frequent and regular basis and that a recent copy is kept in cloud storage. 

The Museum's CMS records and maintains information about objects in the Museum’s collections, including provenance, use, location, condition, accession status, and descriptive attributes. In addition to the details of objects in the collections, the CMS is the Museum’s database of record for information about accessions, conservation treatments, loans, and deaccessions. 

A select subset of non-sensitive information recorded is shared online with the public via collections portals.

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Inventory is the physical verification of the presence, location, and condition of the objects for which the Museum has assumed responsibility.

The Registrar oversees a spot check inventory of randomly selected objects on an annual basis. Major sectional collections inventories are determined by cataloging and digitizing initiatives.

Inventory results are reconciled with previous records by the Collections Department. The Registrar investigates any inconsistencies in these records and documents any objects deemed to be significantly altered or missing.


The Museum is conservative in its approach to the conservation and preservation of its collections, being always aware of their research potential. It recognizes that preventive conservation is the most effective means of promoting the long-term preservation of its collections without jeopardizing this potential. To this end, the principles of preventive conservation guide all conservation and preservation activities. 


The Museum maintains collections in storage and on exhibit according to guidelines laid out by professional organizations such as American Institute for Conservation, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, National Park Service, and the Canadian Conservation Institute. Storage is in compliance with all State and Federal regulations, including NAGPRA.

Museum-quality steel cabinetry and shelving house most of the collection. The Conservator oversees collections storage mount fabrication and storage systems using inert materials. They conduct Oddy tests on new materials to ensure collections are protected from chemical pollutants.

Fluid preserved collections are stored in a specially designed room that ensures the safety of those collections and meets the approval of local fire officials and current regulations.


The HVAC system allows tight humidity control (+/- 2% in storage, +/- 5% in labs and galleries) in Collections Storage, the Science Corridor Labs, and two of the exhibit galleries. The Facilities Department oversees the automated systems. The Conservator monitors the climate with dataloggers in critical areas. Passive climate controlled cases protect sensitive objects in areas lacking tight humidity control.


Housekeeping is an important aspect of collections care. Regular cleaning reduces the risk of pest infestation. Museum custodians clean the floors in the labs and storage on a weekly basis. The Collections Department dusts objects on open display at least one time per year, with additional cleaning performed as necessary.

Pest Control

The Museum uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as a primary line of defense against infestations (See Appendix F, Integrated Pest Management Policy).


When non-intervention is not an option and the treatment of an object is necessary, the primary goal is stabilization. Object treatments are done in accordance with American Institute for Conservation ethics and in consultation with Curators. The choice of materials and methods of treatment used is dictated by their appropriateness for a specific object and by balancing their advantages against their potential adverse effects on the future well-being, scientific investigation and treatment of that object. All treatments are undertaken by the Conservator or by trained staff under the Conservator's supervision. Appropriate documentation accompanies all treatments. These records are maintained in the Records Room and in the Museum’s database.

Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning

The Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Collections guides staff preparation and response to harmful events that can damage collections such as fire, flood, theft and vandalism. The plan coordinates with the institution-wide SMM Emergency Procedures Plan and is reviewed every two years. The plan is available to all staff on the Safety and Security Hub on the Museum’s intranet.


The Conservator and the Registrar jointly develop procedures covering the use and handling of collections. All individuals given permission to handle collections undergo training by appropriate CRC staff. The goal of this training is to ensure the safety of the collections as well as the staff.

Long Range Conservation Plan

The Long Range Conservation Plan spells out preventive conservation and preservation priorities for a three-year period. The plan guides departmental planning and coordination with other CRC work plans. It is reviewed and updated every three years.

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Collections physical access

The Museum provides reasonable and responsible access to its permanent collections for purposes such as research, exhibit, and education. The type and conditions of such use must be consistent with the Museum's mission and responsibility for care and preservation of its collections. Access is by appointment and approval is subject to established or special procedures necessary to safeguard the objects, physical restrictions related to space and facilities, and the availability of appropriate staff.

Access approval process

Requests for access to collection objects are submitted to the Registrar and reviewed by the appropriate Curator or Collections Manager. Curators and Collections Managers review the requests on a case-bycase basis, taking into consideration risk to objects or specimens, research goals, and resources available for supervision. Access must be pre-approved by Curators or Collections Managers, and follow the specific procedures of individual collections.

When on site

Collections use must be conducted under the direct supervision of a CRC staff member approved by the appropriate Curator or Collections Manager. CRC staff are responsible for ensuring the proper handling of specimens.

Possible restrictions

Access to collections and collections information may be restricted due to resource limitations, security, object availability, cultural sensitivity, intellectual property rights, legal and ethical concerns, loan agreements, intellectual property rights, and preservation constraints. The Museum reserves the right to restrict access to sensitive information such as identity of donors, valuations, storage locations, or locality data. 


The Museum has an Open Access policy for all suitable images of SMM collections (see Appendix C, Imaging Policy).


Written requests must be made for the production of casts and replicas of collections held by the Museum. Curators, the Conservator, Collections Managers, and the Registrar consider the requests on a case-by-case basis. All casts and replicas are documented by the Registrar. The Museum does not grant exclusive rights to reproductions.


Requests for destructive scientific analysis must be submitted to the Registrar and approved by the Curator, Conservator, and Collections Manager. Destructive techniques that consume an entire accessioned object follow the guidelines set forth for Deaccessioning in the Collections Management Policy. In the case of destructive analysis of culturally sensitive materials and human remains, approval must also be granted by the appropriate tribe and/or authority. Documentation Curators, Collections Managers, and the Registrar work together to maintain accurate documentation of the use and access of the collections.

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Exhibit design and production must consider and incorporate the long-term preservation requirements of accessioned specimens and artifacts used in exhibits. Research and Collections Division staff including, but not limited to, the Conservator or designee, the Registrar or appropriate collections manager, and the curator (if applicable) should be advisory members of exhibit planning and production teams using collections.

Documentation and background information approved by the appropriate Research and Collections Division content expert about artifacts and specimens will accompany collections, including outreach collections used for exhibits or educational purposes. Accessioned and loaned artifacts or specimens will be noted as such on exhibit labels by the inclusion of their respective accession and loan numbers.


All transactions that require artifacts, specimens, and documentary materials to brought into or taken out of the Museum (loans) must be covered by a written agreement that is recorded and filed by the Registrar. The Science Museum of Minnesota has a museum wide policy regarding all incoming and outgoing loans (See Appendices E and F). Individual staff members failing to follow these procedures may be held personally liable by the Museum.

Long-Term Loans

Long-term loan refers to any incoming or outgoing loan of collections to or from the Museum for a period of three or more years.

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Policies and Guidelines

It is common practice among museums to make long-term loans of permanent collections. In some cases, long-term loans to the Museum include artifacts or specimens owned by parties (e.g., the Federal Government, other museums, or certain educational or charitable organizations) who cannot or will not grant outright title to the artifacts or specimens but who wish to transfer them to the Museum so that they might be cared for, studied, and exhibited under museum conditions. As a general principle, the Museum will only accept on long-term loans of those collections that have lasting scientific or exhibit value within the Museum's collections focus. Long-term loans utilize scarce resources (e.g., cabinets, case, drawers, and staff time) that would otherwise be assigned to the Museum's own collections. Likewise, the Museum may offer long-term loans of artifacts or specimens in its permanent collection to other cultural institutions that, by reason of the original terms of acceptance, cannot be otherwise transferred or sold. All new long-term loans will be reported annually to the Board of Trustees through the Collections Committee.

All long-term loans shall follow the procedures for review and approval listed for normal Museum accessions or transfers. All long-term loan agreements must specify the period of the loan, the procedures for renewal, and the conditions under which the loan agreement can be terminated; the renewal schedule is to be worked out with the lender. All outgoing loans will be reviewed annually to determine status.

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Incoming long-term loans shall be assigned a loan number for tracking and retrieval purposes. Any publication concerning loan material requires with the approval of the lender and shall also note the terms and duration of the loan. In the case of previously catalogued loan material, all records and publications must use the lender's catalogue numbers and, if appropriate, the designation "on loan from (lender)." All items must be marked or labeled clearly.

Short-Term Loans for Exhibit or Study

Loans will be made for study, exhibit, and for educational purposes at the discretion and recommendation of the Curator (if applicable), Conservator, and the appropriate collections manager.

The Museum may agree to lend artifacts and specimens to qualified institutions and individuals upon the receipt of reasonable written request to the Registrar, and based upon approval of the curator (if applicable), Conservator, and the Division Head. All loans are subject to the methods and conditions outlined in the procedures for outgoing loans. (See Appendix F).

A SMM staff member requesting artifacts and specimens from another institution must supply a copy of the written request to the Registrar who will then route the request for review by the Conservator, appropriate curator (if applicable), and the appropriate collections manager (if applicable). The original documentation for the loan resides with the Registrar. All incoming loans are subject to the methods and conditions outlined in the procedures for incoming loans.

Curators, the Conservator, and the Registrar are responsible for approving or rejecting requests for loans based on reviews within their areas of expertise. The Registrar, after consulting with the Conservator, curator (if applicable), and the appropriate collections manager will designate the specific duration of the loan period and will set any special requirements pertaining to the loan.

Artifacts and specimens shall not be loaned if in the opinion of the curator (if applicable), Registrar, or Conservator, they are found to be of such importance, rarity, or fragility that they must not be exposed to any danger or loss by removal from the Museum. Loans will not be made if it is known that they would adversely impact or delay Museum research.

All loan agreements must specify the period of the loan, the procedures for renewal, and the conditions under which the loan agreement can be terminated. No item is accepted for loan to or from the Museum without the signature on the appropriate form of the owner, the Registrar, the curator (if applicable), and the Division Head.

Loan of archaeological artifacts and wildlife specimens will be made in accordance with international, federal, state, and local regulations.

Internal Loans for Exhibit or Study

Loans will be made within the Museum for study, exhibit, and educational purposes will be done in accordance to the guidelines presented above.

Any staff member, volunteer, teacher, or intern who is given permission to handle items from the collection must be trained by the Conservator or a member of the collections staff before handling artifacts or specimens.

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Legal and Ethical Constraints

All of the provisions for deaccession shall be consistent with legal and ethical constraints presented in the section on Accessions (above). The Museum will comply with all applicable laws and statutes including but not limited to the Minnesota Property Act.

The Museum acts as steward of materials for the broader benefits of society. This, at times, requires permanent removal of artifacts and specimens from the Museum. Removals may include artifact and specimen transfers, physical discard, or destruction of artifacts and specimens. Permanent removal of accessioned artifacts or specimens (deaccessioning) will require the implementation of appropriate deaccessioning procedures (see Appendix B, Deaccessioning Diagram).

Determination of Values

Estimates of the scientific, exhibition, and fair market values of an artifact or specimen shall be the responsibility of the Accessions Committee. Estimates will rely on staff knowledge, market comparables, and possible referrals to external expertise. Estimates, including a written justification of the findings, shall be filed with the Registrar. When the value is estimated to be over $1,000 for an individual artifact or specimen, or when the aggregate value of a collection is estimated to be more than $5,000, an independent professional appraisal will be required by the President of the Museum before approving the transfer.

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Artifact and Specimen Transfer

Transfers of artifacts and specimens with an aggregate fair market value of less than $1,000 shall be recommended by the Accessions Committee. If the total fair market value of a transaction is greater than $1,000 but less than $50,000, then the written approval of the President shall be required. Transfers involving total fair market value of more than $50,000 shall require the written approval by the Board of Trustees.

Gifts and exchanges
It is customary for certain scientific disciplines to retain appropriate duplicate examples for the collections of their institution. Gifts or exchanges of artifacts and specimens to an appropriate scientific, educational, or cultural institution may be deemed to be in the best interests of the Museum and society.

All gifts or transfers must follow the provisions of approval presented in the section on Artifact and Specimen Transfer and Deaccessioning (above). All gifts and transfers of artifacts or specimens requires the written approval of the Division Head. All gifts and transfers of artifacts or specimens with a estimated value of more than $5,000 will require the written approval of the President.

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In cases where gifts or exchanges cannot apply, and if the appropriate curatorial and collections staff concur that certain specimens or collections no longer have value for the future research or exhibition program of the Museum, then they may recommend that these specimens may be sold, subject to the following guidelines:

All sales will require the written approval of the Division Head. Written approval of the President will be required if the sale of artifacts, specimens, or items exceeds $5,000, individually or combined. All attempts will be made to secure a fair and reasonable price for the object, specimen, or item being sold.

There shall be no private sales of Museum material to staff members, the Board of Trustees, or their representatives. In the event of public sale, such individuals shall be eligible, as any other private individuals, to bid on offered items.

Negotiated private sales, public auction, sealed bidding, or open bidding over a period of time are acceptable options, provided that the availability of such material for sales has been given publicity aimed at the appropriate audience of potential purchasers. In all cases of items offered for sale, a reserve price may be established in advance, or all offers rejected, if an appropriate staff member of the Museum determines that such action is advisable. The purchase price of each item or collection shall be available upon request, together with a summary of other bids or offers received. If substantially equivalent offers are received for a specimen or a collection, then the President, as advised by the appropriate content expert, is authorized to complete the sale to the bidder who appears most likely to provide the highest and most stable degree of care for and make the most appropriate research, educational, or exhibition use of the artifacts, specimens, or items being sold. In most cases, priority is given first to other museums or institutions that hold scientific collections in the public trust. Second priority is given to all other non-profit educational institutions. Third priority is given to members of the general public.

All funds received from the sale of artifacts or specimens, net of selling costs, shall be placed in an account reserved for obtaining other artifacts or specimens by collecting or purchase, or placed in an appropriate account or endowment in support of the direct care of collections (collections conservation, curation, and management).

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Artifact and Specimen Disposal

Removal or culling of undocumented material from the permanent collection is a continual and routine process. Often culled material is used in the Museum's education program (see Appendix B, Deaccessioning Diagram).

If such artifacts or specimens are not needed to support the educational mission of the museum, then they may be given to appropriate educational institutions for use in teaching activities, or even, if no alternative exists, be discarded completely or destroyed. Such materials for disposal shall be so acknowledged in the permanent collection catalogs by the responsible Collections Management staff member.

Deaccessioning of more valuable culled materials shall follow the approved guidelines outlined for transfer of specimens.

Reporting Annual Deacquisitions and Deaccessions

Annual deacquisitions and deaccessions will be reported to the Board of Trustees Collections Committee as part of the annual collections audit.

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Relationships between the Science Museum of Minnesota and all cultural groups will be governed by respect for human rights, compliance with applicable law, and the values of scientific research and public education. The Museum recognizes the value of historic and scientific research and public education and the need to pursue these activities in a respectful, non-intrusive manner that recognizes the rights of nations and peoples.

Native American Collections

The Museum will strive to resolve questions of the disposition and treatment of sensitive materials through cooperative and timely discussions between the Museum and interested Native American groups. Where issues remain after good faith discussions, an attempt will be made to settle these issues through mutually agreed upon processes of mediation or arbitration (see Appendix A, Procedures for Compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act).

Culturally sensitive materials are artifacts, specimens, or materials whose treatment or use is a matter of profound concern to living peoples. They may include, but are not limited to, human remains and associated funerary artifacts and specimens, which shall mean artifacts and specimens that, as a part of the death rite or ceremony of a culture, are reasonably believed to have been placed with individual human remains either at the time or death or later.

Sacred artifacts/specimens are specific ceremonial artifacts and specimens that are needed by traditional religious leaders for the practice of an ongoing religion by present-day adherents.

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The Museum will not knowingly acquire any artifact or specimen whose ownership or legality in this state or country is questionable or whose circumstance of collection is unethical or contrary to the goals and/or good practices of the Science Museum of Minnesota or the museum profession in general.

To the fullest extent possible, the Science Museum of Minnesota will consult with the living cultural groups regarding ownership, consent, and treatment issues before deciding whether to acquire sensitive material related to those groups. Any acquisitions of funerary items or sacred artifacts/specimens will be based on thorough consultation with concerned parties and will be accompanied by documentation showing the acquisition is related to the Museum's institutional mission. There may be cases, for instance, where the Museum may consider acquiring sensitive material in order to act as an agent for their return to the concerned party.

Any culturally sensitive materials that are loaned will follow the loan procedures outlined in the Procedures for Compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (Appendix A).

Curation, Care, and Conservation
The Museum shall seek guidance from recognized, concerned parties regarding the identification, proper care, and possible disposition of culturally sensitive materials on a case-by-case basis.

Conservation treatment shall not be performed on identified culturally sensitive materials without consulting the appropriate authority of the concerned parties.

Repatriation of Native American Materials
The repatriation of cultural items by the Science Museum of Minnesota will be made in accordance with the provisions of Public Law 101-601: The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the Minnesota Cemeteries Act (Statute 307.08), and any other relevant legislation. When items are to be deaccessioned, the Museum will document the materials as thoroughly as is reasonable and appropriate and as negotiated with the concerned party, except to the extent that such documentation is inconsistent with religious or cultural practices. This documentation will include physical recording as well as historical and documentary recording.

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This policy statement will be reviewed every five years by a multi-disciplined museum committee appointed by the President of the Museum. Proposed revisions will be taken to the Board of Trustees for approval.

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Alberta Museums Association. 1990. Standard Practices Handbook for Museums. Edmonton: Alberta Museums Association.

Alpert, G.D. and L.M. Alpert. 1988. Integrated pest management: A program for museum environments. A Guide to Museum Pest Control, edited by L.A. Zuckerman and J.R. Schrock. Washington, D.C.: Association for Systematics Collections and American Institute for Conservation, 169-173.

American Association of Museums. 2000. Code of Ethics for Museums. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

-. 2000. Codes of Ethics and Practice of Interest to Museums. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums, Technical Information Service.

-. 1992. Native American Collections and Repatriation, Forum. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

-. 1984. Caring for Collections: Strategies for conservation, maintenance and documentation. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

-. 1979-1985. Essentials of Collections Management, Museum News Reprint Package. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

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American Association of Museums Curators Committee. Code of Ethics for Curators. American Association of Museums. 1996. 2 March 2004.

-. 1983. Code of ethics for curators. Museum News 61(3):38-40.

American Association of Museums Registrars Committee. 1998. Revised Standard Facility Report. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

-. 1985. Code of ethics for registrars. Museum News 63(3):42-46.

American Society of Mammalogists. 1974. Revised minimal standards for systematics collections of mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 59(4):911-914.

Applebaum, B. 1991. Guide to Environmental Protection of Collections. Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press.

Case, Mary, ed. 1988. Registrars on Record: Essays on museum collections management. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

Cato, Paisley S., Julia Golden, and Suzanne B. McLaren. 2003. Museum Wise. Washington, DC: Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.

Cato, Paisley S. and Stephen L. Williams. 1993. Guidelines for developing policies for the management and care of natural history collections. Collection Forum 9(2):84-107.

Dudley, Dorothy H. 1979. Museum Registration Methods. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

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Jessup, W.C. 1989. Pest management notes: establishing a pest monitoring program for museums. Museum News 19(3):5-6.

Malaro, M.C. 1998. A Legal Primer on Managing Museum Collections, 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

-. 1994. Museum Governance. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

-. 1989. How to protect yourself from not-so-permanent loans. Museum News 68(5):22-25.

-. 1988. Deaccessioning, the importance of procedure. Museum News 66(4):74-75.

-. 1979. Collections management policies. Museum News 58(1):57-61.

Michalski, S. 1992. A Systematic Approach to the Conservation (Care) of Museum Collections. Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Conservation Institute.

The Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums. 2002. Collections Management Manual. Cokato, Minnesota: Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums.

National Fire Protection Association. 1991. Protection of Museums and Museum Collections, 1991 ed. NFPA 911. Quincy, Massachusetts: National Fire Protection Association.

National Park Service. Museum Handbook. Part 1. Museum Collections Web Edition. National Park Service. 4 Oct 2001. 9 March 2004.

Nicholas, Susan K., ed. 1989. Organizing Your Museum: The Essentials. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

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Nicks, John. 1999. Collections management. The Manual of Museum Planning, 2nd ed, edited by Gail Dexter Lord and Barry Lord. London: AltaMira Press, 109-139.

Phelan, M. 1982. Museums and the Law. Nashville, Tennessee: American Association of State and Local History.

Pierce, Susan M. 1990. Archaeological Curatorship. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Raphael, Toby. Exhibit Conservation Guidelines: Incorporating conservation into exhibit planning design and fabrication. April 1999. CD-ROM. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, Division of Conservation, Harpers Ferry Center.

Reibel, Daniel B. 1997. Registration Methods for the Small Museum. London: AltaMira Press.

Roberts, D. Andrew. 1985. Planning the Documentation of Museum Collections. Cambridge: Museum Documentation Association.

Rose, Carolyn L. and A. de Torres. 1992. Storage of Natural History Collections: Ideas and practical solutions, Vol. 2. Washington, DC: Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.

Rose, Carolyn L., C.A. Hawks, and Hugh Genoways. 1995. Storage of Natural History Collections: A Preventive conservation approach, Vol. 1. Iowa City, IA: Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.

Simmons, John. Managing things: Crafting a collections policy. Museum News Jan/Feb 2004.

Stolow, N. 1986. Conservation and Exhibitions: Packing, transport, storage, and environmental considerations. London: Butterworths.

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Strang, Thomas J.K. 1996. Preventing Infestations: Control strategies and detection methods. CCI Notes 3/1. Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Conservation Institute, Department of Canadian Heritage.

-. 1996. Preventing Infestations: Facility inspection procedure and check list. CCI Notes 3/2. Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Conservation Institute, Department of Canadian Heritage.

Tabah, Agnes. 1993. Native American Collections and Repatriation. Technical Information Service's Forum: Occasional Papers and Readings on Museum Issues and Standards. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

The Texas Association of Museums. 1996. The Museums Forms Book. Austin, Texas: Texas Association of Museums.

Thompson, John M.A., ed. 1992. Manual of Curatorship: A Guide to museum practice. Oxford; Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Thomson, G. 1986. The Museum Environment, 2nd ed. London: Butterworths.

Ullberg, Allan D. and Patricia Ullberg. 1981. Museum Trusteeship. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

Weil, Steven E. 1997. A Deaccession Reader. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums.

Zycherman, Lynda A. and J.R. Schock. 1988. A Guide to Museum Pest Control. Washington DC: Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historical and Artistic Works and Association of Systematics Collections.

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The policy of the Science Museum of Minnesota is to fully comply with all legal requirements and to fulfill legitimate requests for repatriation in a timely basis. When a claim is made, tribal representatives will be informed that our response time will be no more than three months, in accordance with Federal guidelines. This time frame will necessarily remain negotiable, especially in cases concerning large collections such as the Blackfeet material (Hill collection). Each claim will be handled on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the procedures described in the NAGPRA legislation. Records will be kept of all contacts, the processes, and discussions with each tribal group formally relating to NAGPRA.

Five categories of Native American objects are subject to NAGPRA. They are human remains, associated funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.

Human remains, in the context of NAGPRA, is defined as the physical remains of the body of a person of Native American ancestry. The term does not include remains or portions of remains that may reasonably be determined to have been freely given or naturally shed by the individual from whose body they were obtained, such as hair made into ropes or nets. For the purposes of determining cultural affiliation, human remains incorporated into a funerary object, sacred object, or object of cultural patrimony must be considered as part of that item. [43 CFR 10.2 (d)(1)]

Associated funerary objects, as part of the death rite or ceremony of a culture, are reasonably believed to have been placed with individual human remains either at the time of death or later, and both the human remains and associated funerary objects are presently in the possession or control of a Federal agency or museum, except that other items exclusively made for burial purposes or to contain human remains shall be considered as associated funerary objects. [25 USC 3001 (3)(A)]

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Unassociated funerary objects, as part of the death rite or ceremony of a culture, are reasonably believed to have been placed with individual human remains either at the time of death or later, where the remains are not in the possession or control of the Federal agency or museum and the objects can be identified by a preponderance of the evidence as related to specific individuals or families or to known human remains or, by a preponderance of the evidence, as having been removed from a specific burial site of an individual culturally affiliated with a particular Indian tribe. [25 USC 3001 (3)(B)] Those funerary objects for which the human remains with which they were placed intentionally are not in the possession or control of a museum or Federal agency. [43 CFR 10.2 (d)(2)(ii)]

Sacred objects are defined as specific ceremonial objects that are needed by traditional Native American religious leaders for the practice of traditional Native American religions by their present day adherents. (25 USC 3001 (3)(C)]

Objects of cultural patrimony are defined as objects having ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural importance central to the Native American group or culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual Native American, and which, therefore, cannot be alienated, appropriated, or conveyed by any individual regardless of whether or not the individual is a member of the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and such object shall have been considered inalienable by such Native American group at the time the object was separated from such group. [25 USC 3001 (3)(D)]

Upon request, Indian Tribes will be given access to records, catalogues, relevant studies, or other pertinent data for the purposes of determining the geographic origin, cultural affiliation, and basic facts surrounding acquisition and accession of Native American objects held by the Science Museum of Minnesota that fall within the above defined categories. The Museum will share all information it possesses regarding an object in question with the known lineal descendant or affiliated Indian Tribe to assist in making a repatriation claim.

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Repatriation Process

Once a request for repatriation is made, artifacts/specimens must go through the following steps before they leave the Museum.

1. Assemble associated documentation: Complete records on the artifacts/specimens requested will be compiled, including current condition reports.

2. Photo-documentation: Digital images will be taken of any artifacts/specimens not yet photographed.

3. Decision to repatriate: The final decision to repatriate a requested object will be recommended to the Division Head by the Registrar. The Division Head will notify the President and the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees concerning the recommendation. The repatriation will proceed only after the approval of the Division Head and the President. Decisions to repatriate will be based on the consideration of following criteria, and in accordance with Federal Law:

  1. The object(s) requested can be classified under one or more of the five categories of objects under which NAGPRA has jurisdiction. (defined above)
  2. Cultural affiliation between the claimant and the requested object(s) has been established; or, the requesting Indian tribe can show cultural affiliation based upon geographical, kinship, biological, archaeological, anthropological, linguistic, folkloric, oral tradition, and/or historical evidence, or other relevant information or expert opinion.
  3. A known lineal descendant or affiliated Indian tribe requesting the return of the object(s) presents unchallenged evidence which would support a finding that the Museum did not have the right of possession of the object(s) in question.

If requests are made for items that the staff feels are not appropriate to return under the conditions of the law, a dialog/consultation must take place between the tribe and the Museum.

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4. Returning the artifacts/specimens: Before returning artifacts/specimens, the claim must be submitted to the Federal Register and listed for 30 days. From that date, the Museum has 90 days to return the artifacts/specimens barring counter claims.

All artifacts/specimens will be deaccessioned according to Museum deaccessioning procedures (see Deaccession Diagram - Appendix C), and returned by appropriate means directly to the officially designated tribal recipient.

Condition reports will be completed before the artifacts/specimens leave the Museum and again when they are unpacked at their final destination. Ownership of the artifacts/specimens will be officially transferred when they are handed over to tribal officials.

In the case of multiple claims on artifacts/specimens, all claimants will be invited to an open discussion at the Museum for the purpose of resolving the issue. The Museum will retain the artifacts/specimens until the requesting parties agree upon its disposition or the dispute is otherwise resolved.

Tribes without the ability to store or care for the artifacts/specimens they request may wish for these artifacts or specimens to remain in the care of the Museum or choose to enter into a long-term loan agreement. Procedures governing these arrangements are detailed in the Policy Statement on Collections Management.


The Museum will not knowingly acquire any artifact/specimen whose ownership or legality in this state or country is questionable or whose circumstance of collection is unethical or contrary to the goals and/or good practices of the Science Museum of Minnesota or the museum profession in general.

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To the fullest extent possible, the Science Museum of Minnesota will consult with the living cultural groups regarding ownership, consent, and treatment issues before deciding whether to acquire sensitive material related to those groups. Any acquisitions of funerary items or sacred objects will be based on thorough consultation with concerned parties and will be accompanied by documentation showing the acquisition is related to the Museum's institutional mission. There may be cases, for instance, where the Museum may consider acquiring sensitive material in order to act as an agent for their return to the concerned party. See the Policy Statement on Collections Management.

If collections containing sensitive materials are acquired, steps will be taken to assess and define the culturally sensitive nature of the artifacts/specimens, and procedures will be carried out to comply with NAGPRA.


Culturally sensitive materials will not be loaned except under an explicit agreement by the officially recognized NAGPRA representative for the tribe whose artifacts/specimens are involved. An agreement for long-term loans of the culturally sensitive Artifacts/Specimens remaining in the care of the Museum may be negotiated by the specific tribe and the Museum.

Curation, Care, and Conservation

On a case-by-case basis, the Museum shall seek guidance from the recognized NAGPRA representative of the tribe in question regarding the identification, proper care, and possible disposition of culturally sensitive materials.

Conservation treatment will not be performed on culturally sensitive materials without consulting with the Collections Manager responsible for those materials or a recognized NAGPRA representative of the culturally associated tribe.

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By policy, all deaccessioned artifacts/specimens valued at over $1000 for an individual artifact/specimen or over $5000 for an aggregate collection may be submitted for independent professional appraisal, but most are researched through auction catalogs and other methods. These tasks are performed by the Collections Managers and/or the Registrar. Since most of our collections do not carry valuations, the result is often a "best guess," as guided by the research.

Deaccessioned artifacts/specimens, once valued as described above, may then be given as gifts to other research institutions, exchanged for an artifact/specimen of equal value from another institution, or sold through negotiated private sales, public auction, sealed bidding, or open bidding. Any of these activities may be performed by the Curator or Collections Managers who own the relationship being used within a 6-month period from the date of deaccessioning.* If there is no such relationship available, these functions are performed by the Registrar.

Artifacts/Specimens determined to have little or no value are offered to other SMM departments or other educational institutions, as are any valued items that are not successfully given to other research institutions, exchanged, or sold. In no case, however, are artifacts/specimens available through any means to any museum staff, volunteers, or their families. Other departments and other institutions must sign a receipt for any artifacts/specimens they have taken, and a copy is put in the accession and deaccession files.

Once an artifact/specimen has been offered to other internal departments without success, the Registrar is expected to allow two months after contacting other nonprofit institutions about an artifact/specimen's availability before consigning the artifact/specimen to destruction.

*This period may be extended by permission of the Registrar when extenuating circumstances such as in-progress negotiations or extended absences of interested parties pertain.

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1. Artifacts/Specimens in the process of being deaccessioned will remain located in their departments under Collections Mangers control until deaccessioning is completed, at which time the Registrar may move them to a more accessible location for distribution.
2. Once an artifact/specimen is slated to be destroyed, the method of destruction is at the discretion of the Registrar subject to a list of acceptable disposal methods including reduction (smashing or cutting up), burning (where appropriate), or burial at SMM's artifact/specimen Burial Site (location known only to Collections staff). All burials will include a list of the artifacts/specimens and the date the artifacts/specimens were buried.

NAGPRA Requirements

The policy of the Science Museum of Minnesota is to fully comply with all legal requirements and to fulfill legitimate requests for repatriation in a timely basis. When a claim is made, tribal representatives will be informed that our response time will be no more than three months, in accordance with Federal guidelines. The Museum will follow the PROCEDURES FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE NATIVE AMERICAN GRAVES PROTECTION AND REPATRIATION ACT (NAGPRA) (See Appendix B)

The steps taken to ensure proper removal of items from SMM collections are listed below.

  1. written request for repatriation
  2. object approved for removal from SMM collections
  3. proper paperwork put in place
  4. object(s) removed from general collections and stored in the NAGPRA defined area
  5. object(s) boxed and readied for repatriation
  6. object(s) removed from Museum
  7. all paperwork relating to claim filed in accession folder as well as NAGPRA deaccession log.

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accession: (1) the formal acceptance into custody of an acquisition, and the recording of such act. (2) an artifact/specimen, or group of artifacts/specimens, acquired by a museum as part of its permanent collection. (3) the act of recording/processing an addition to the permanent collection.

accessioning: formal process used to accept legally and to record an artifact/specimen as a collection item; involves the creation of an immediate, brief, and permanent record using a control number or unique identifier for artifacts/specimens added to the collection from the same source at the same time, and for which the institution accepts custody, right, or title.

accessioning/Deaccessioning committee: Appointed committee of staff to include curators, collections management, conservation and the Division Head. Committee makes joint staff recommendations for accessioning and deaccessioning.

artifact: a human-made item, often manufactured or created from naturally-occurring materials and made for use in a cultural context.

artifact/specimen disposal: appropriate for material whose scientific, exhibition, or fair market value is minimal or absent, and thus continued future preservation is of little or no benefit to society.

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cataloging: creating a full record of information about an artifact/specimen, cross-referenced to other records and files; includes the process of identifying and documenting these artifacts/specimens in detail.

collecting: the process of sampling the natural and cultural world using a variety of techniques that are dependent on (1) the organism or material being obtained and (2) the intended use for the sample or the research methods likely to be applied.

collections: (1) a group of artifacts/specimens with like characteristics or a common base of association (e.g. geographic, donor, cultural). (2) an organizational unit within a larger institutional structure (e.g. a collection within a university biology department). (3) refers to the artifacts, specimens, documents, and data under a museum's care.

collection care: the responsibility and function of an institution with collections that involves developing and implementing policies and procedures to protect the long term integrity of artifacts and specimens, as well as their associated data and documentation, for use in research, education, and exhibits.

collections management: the responsibility and function of an institution that fosters the preservation, accessibility, and utility of their collections and associated data. The management process involves responsibilities for recommending and implementing policy with respect to: artifact/specimen acquisition, collection growth, and deaccessioning; planning and establishing collection priorities; obtaining, allocating, and managing resources; and coordinating collection processes with the needs of curation, preservation, and specimen use. These responsibilities may be shared by collection managers, subject specialists, curators, and other institution administrators.

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conservation: (1) maximizing the endurance or minimizing the deterioration of an artifact/specimen through time, with as little change to the object as possible. (2) the application of science to the examination and treatment of museum artifacts/specimens and to the study of the environments in which they are placed. This involves activities such as preventive conservation, examination, documentation, treatment, research, and education.

curation: the process whereby artifacts or specimens are identified and organized according to discipline-specific recommendations using the most recently available scientific literature and expertise; a primary objective of this process is to verify or add to the existing documentation for these artifacts/specimens, and to add to knowledge.

custody: responsibility for the care of documents based on their physical possession. Custody does not always include legal ownership, or the right to control access to records.

deaccession: (1) an artifact/specimen that has been removed permanently from the museum collections, usually through sale or exchange. (2) the formal process of removing an artifact or specimen permanently from the collection, with appropriate transfer of title.

deterioration: change [for the worse] in an artifact/specimen's physical or chemical state.

direct care: all activities that relate to the immediate care, preservation, documentation, and maintenance of collections including collections conservation, curation, and management as defined in this document.

documentation: supporting evidence, recorded in a permanent manner using a variety of media (paper, photographic, etc.), of the identification, condition, history, or scientific value of an artifact, specimen, or collection. This encompasses information that is inherent to the individual artifacts/specimens and its associations in its natural environment as well as that which reflects processes and transactions affecting the artifact/specimen (e.g. accessioning, cataloging, loaning, sampling, analysis, treatment, etc.). Documentation is an integral aspect of the use, management, and preservation of an artifact, specimen, or collections.

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educational collection: a group of artifacts or specimens designated for use in educational programming. (2) artifacts and specimens designated for use in public programming or teaching, may be actual artifacts/specimens or replicas.

exchanges: roughly equivalent reciprocal movement of materials between two or more parties.

exhibition value: may be based on esthetic appeal, representing a typical or unusually fine example of its kind, artistic superiority for cultural artifacts or such other factors as may be pertinent in selecting material for display.

fair market value: the price at which property changes hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, acting independently, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.

fluid collection: specimens either whole body or tissue, stored in alcohol, formalin or other preservative fluids.

gifts: an addition to holdings acquired without monetary consideration and becoming the sole property of the recipient, frequently effected by a deed of gift.

holotype: the single specimen designated or indicated as the type by the original author at the time of publication or the original description of a species.

integrated pest management (IPM): the selection, integration, and implementation of pest management methods based on predicted economic, ecological, and sociological consequences; also defined as a decision making process that helps one decide if a treatment is necessary and appropriate, where the treatment should be administered, when treatment should be applied, and what strategies should be integrated for immediate and long term results.

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loans: (1) temporary physical transfer of artifacts/specimens to an outside location for references, consultation, reproduction, or exhibition. (2) the temporary assignment of collections from the museum or temporary assignments of similar artifacts/specimens to the museum for stated museum purposes, such as exhibition and research. These assignments do not involve a change of ownership.
(1) incoming loan: an artifact/specimen, or group of artifacts/specimens, borrowed by an institution. any artifact/specimen borrowed from another institution, (museum, university, church, etc.) or private individual; (2) outgoing loan: an artifact/specimen loaned by a museum to another institution; any artifact/specimen borrowed from the Museum's collections for scientific research, exhibition, tour, or educational use outside of the Museum; (3) internal loan: any artifact/specimen borrowed from the Museum's collections for exhibition or educational use within the Museum.

maintenance: routine actions that support the goals of preservation of and access to the collection such as monitoring, general housekeeping, providing appropriate storage and exhibition conditions, and organizing a collection.

paratype: a specimen other than the holotype which was before the author at the time of preparation of the original description and was so designated or indicated by the original author; paratypes have no standing in nomenclature.

permanent collection: (1) those artifacts and specimens that are owned by the museum. (2) artifacts and specimens held by an institution intended to be preserved in perpetuity.

preparation: the procedures used in the field or in the institution to enhance the utility of an organism, artifact/specimen, or inorganic material for a specified use. The resulting artifact or specimen may represent only a portion of the original organism or material or may be otherwise altered from its original state. Procedures should be compatible with intended uses and conservation objectives, and should be documented.

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preservation: actions taken to retard or prevent deterioration or damage to collections materials by control of their environment and/or treatment of their structure in order to maintain them as nearly as possible in an unchanging state.

registration: (1) the process of developing and maintaining an immediate, brief, and permanent means of identifying an artifact/specimen for which the institution has permanently or temporarily assumed responsibility. (2) the process of assigning an immediate and permanent means of identifying an artifact or specimen for which the institution has permanently or temporarily assumed responsibility; one facet of documentation. (3) as an institution function, includes the logical organization of documentation and maintaining access to that information.

repository: a collection administered by a nonprofit public or private institution, that adheres to professional standards for collection management and care to ensure that specimens acquired will be professionally maintained and remain accessible for future use.

restoration: returning an artifact or specimen as far as possible or as far as desired to an earlier condition or appearance, often (but not always) its original state, through repair, renovation, reconditioning, or other intervention.

sales: payments to the Museum for materials.

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sampling: (1) the act or process of selecting and removing some part of an artifact/specimen for testing, analysis, or other use. (2) selecting a portion as a representative of the whole; in natural science collections, sampling refers more specifically to the process of removing a portion of an artifact or specimen for analysis. The analysis may be destructive to the sample.

scientific value: refers to the significance of an artifact/specimen as a record of past research and/or an artifact/specimen for future research.

specimen: any animal or plant, or any part, product, egg, seed, or root of any animal or plant or geological sample.

stabilization: treatment of an artifact/specimen or its environment in a manner intended to reduce the probability or rate of deterioration and probability of damage.

transfer: the act involved in a change of physical custody of records, archives, artifacts, specimens with or without change of legal title. (2) records, archives, artifacts, specimens so transferred.

treatment: actions taken, physically or chemically, to stabilize or make accessible an artifact or specimen; includes, for example, techniques such as preparation, cleaning, mending, supporting, pest eradication, and consolidation.

voucher specimen: (1) a specimen and its associated data that physically document the existence of that organism at a given place and time. (2) any specimen identified by a recognized authority for the purpose of forming a reference collection; a specimen that physically and permanently documents data in an archival report by verifying the identity of the organism(s) used in the study and by so doing ensures that a study which otherwise could not be repeated can be accurately reviewed or reassessed.

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1. All requests for reproductions must be made on SMM's application form.
2. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery on all nonrush orders.
3. Rush orders may be arranged under the following conditions:
• two-week maximum delivery
• permission of Photographer
• Federal Express number supplied


1. Foreign applicants must pay all invoiced charges with funds drawn on a US bank in US dollars and with no deduction of bank fees.
2. Failure to pay invoiced charges means that permission has NOT been granted.


1. Duplicates may not be made of photographic materials supplied by the Museum. Any duplicates become the property of the Museum.
2. The Museum will not supply any type of reproductions to photographic rental or sales organizations.
3. The Museum will not supply any materials where reproduction appears susceptible to unauthorized use or duplication.
4. Any reproduction that varies in any parameter excepting size from the original photographic material will be considered a violation of the reproduction contract. Exceptions to this policy by arrangement only.
5. If image has been cropped or otherwise altered (by arrangement only), credit line must include "detail from" or "background" or other appropriately worded explanation.

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1. Permission is granted for only one limited-run use in one publication, one edition, and one language. Additional publications, editions, and languages will be considered upon application for reuse.
2. Permissions may not be reused, transferred, assigned, sold, or otherwise shared without written permission of the Museum.
3. Images cannot be used as endorsement for commercial products.
4. Permissions are valid for 2 years. If publication has not appeared at the end of that time, permission automatically is revoked and must be re-requested.


1. Applicants who wish to reprint from old proofs must prove that the original photography came from the Museum.
2. Subsequent reprints require new application.
3. Subsequent editions require new application.
4. The Museum retains the right to refuse permission for reuse because the applicant has not maintained acceptable first-use standards as defined by any of these policies.


1. Credit line must read "Photo courtesy of the Science Museum of Minnesota," but see #5 under Materials above.
2. For reproductions in video, television, or film, credit line must appear in the program credits and in any accompanying manual.
3. References to the Museum outside of the credit line are prohibited except by arrangement.
4. Incorrect or incomplete credit lines must be corrected in future editions.
5. Titles and creators of any artworks imaged must be included with the credits.

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1. The applicant agrees to hold the Museum harmless against all claims costs, including copyright royalties, owing to applicant's reproduction.
2. The applicant agrees that in no case will an image obtained through the Science Museum of Minnesota be used in any manner inconsistent with the mission of the Museum as a family-oriented source of science information.


1. Two copies of all publications in any medium will be forwarded to the Museum for its files. In the case of exhibit panels or other murals, proof copies will be accepted.


1. The Museum may order any overrun it may desire at cost if ordered at the time of printing/production.
2. The Museum will be notified of first screenings, openings, broadcasts, and releases of film or other electronic media reproductions.


1. Permission will only be approved for electronic publication in a format, such as CD-Rom, that is sufficiently secure to prevent unauthorized downloading, transferring, copying, and manipulation of content with specialized technologies utilized specifically for digital image protection. The resource file must be hidden from view so that the file names and icons do not appear in windows or on the desktop. Permission will not be authorized for reproduction on floppy discs or other formats that do not meet either criteria stated above.

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In consideration of the mutual promises and obligations set forth herein, the Science Museum of Minnesota and the lender agree to the following terms and conditions.


This agreement form is to be used when objects are loaned from an outside agency or individual to any unit of the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) for purposes such as a temporary exhibit or research. This agreement covers all the terms and conditions of the loan either expressed or implied.


SMM will give to items borrowed the same care as it does comparable property of its own. Precautions will be taken to protect items from fire, theft, mishandling, dirt and insects, and extremes of light, temperature, and humidity while in SMM's custody. The lender understands that all tangible objects are subject to gradual inherent deterioration for which neither party is responsible. Evidence of damage at the time of receipt or while in SMM's custody will be reported immediately to the lender. No alteration, restoration, or repair of loan items will be undertaken without the written authorization of the lender. SMM retains the right to determine when, if and for how long objects borrowed will be exhibited. SMM retains the right to cancel the loan upon reasonable notice to the lender.


The lender certifies that the items lent are in such condition as to withstand ordinary strains of packing and transportation and handling. The lender must send a written report of the condition of the items prior to shipment to SMM; otherwise, it will be assumed that the items are received in the same condition as when leaving the lender's possession. Condition reports will be made at SMM on arrival and departure.


Items to be insured by SMM will be covered by an all-risk wall-to-wall rider on SMM's institutional insurance policy subject to the standard exclusions contained in this policy. Insurance will be placed in the amount specified by the lender herein, which must reflect fair market value. Lender's failure to indicate a value constitutes lender's authorization to SMM to set a value for purposes of insurance for the period of the loan. Said value is not to be considered an appraisal. If the lender elects to maintain his own Insurance coverage, then prior to shipping, SMM must be supplied with a certificate of insurance naming SMM as an additional insured. If the lender fails to provide said certificate, this failure shall constitute a waiver of insurance by the lender. SMM shall not be responsible for any error or deficiency in information furnished by the lender to the insurer or for any lapses in such coverage. In the case of long-term loans, it is the responsibility of the lender to notify SMM of changes in insurance valuation.

If the lender elects to waive insurance, this waiver shall constitute the agreement of the lender to release and hold harmless SMM and its employees, officers, and agents from all liability in connection with the items(s) while on loan to SMM except for clear gross negligence. The mount payable by insurance secured in accordance with this agreement is the sole recovery available to the lender from SMM except in the event of loss or damage.

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Unless stated otherwise in the SPECIAL CONDITIONS/INSTRUCTIONS section on the face of this agreement, the loan items may be photographed or reproduced by SMM for educational, catalog, and publicity purposes. It is understood that the general public may photograph objects on exhibit, unless prohibited by the lender. Unless otherwise stated in writing, SMM will give credit to the lender as specified on the face of this agreement in any publication and on exhibit credit panels.


It is the responsibility of the lender or the lender's agent to notify SMM promptly in writing if there is any change in ownership of the items (either through inter vivos transfer or death) or if there is a change in the identity or address of the lender. SMM assumes no responsibility to search for a lender (or owner) who cannot be reached at the address of record.


Unless otherwise agreed in writing, a loan terminates on the date specified on the face of this agreement. Upon termination of the loan, the lender must contact SMM to arrange for a return or renewal. If the lender has not contacted SMM within thirty days of the termination of this loan, SMM will attempt to notify the lender in writing at the last known address of the need to arrange a return or renewal.

Objects will be returned only to the lender of record or to a location mutually agreed upon in writing by SMM and the lender of record. In case of uncertainty, SMM reserves the right to require a lender/claimant to establish title of proof satisfactory to SMM.

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Requests for Loans must be made in writing to the Registrar. The Registrar will consult with the appropriate curator (if applicable), collections manager, and Conservator for input concerning issues or questions relating to the request. This information will be used in drafting a response to the request. All loans require the signature of the Division Head. If the requested items exceed $10,000 in appraised value, the loan will require the signature of the Division Head and the President. The value of outgoing loans will be reported to the Board of Trustees on a regular basis. The Registrar will track and document the time and materials required to process and implement all loans. In most cases, loans which further scientific understanding, lead to publication, or increase knowledge of the Museum's collections will be processed without charge, however, the Museum reserves the right and discretion to request and/or negotiate reimbursement for the costs of processing larger loan requests.

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Items borrowed shall be given special care at all times to ensure against loss, damage, or deterioration. The borrower agrees to meet any special requirements for installation and handling that may be specified by SMM. Furthermore, SMM may require an inspection and approval of the actual installation by a member or members of its staff as a condition of the loan at the expense of the borrower. All items lent by SMM have been examined and are considered to be in sound condition for loan. Upon receipt and prior to return of the item(s), the borrower must make a written record of condition. SMM's Registrar is to be notified immediately, followed by a full written report, including photographs, if damage or loss is discovered. The Registrar will consult with the Conservator to develop or approve a remediation plan to address the damage or loss. No item may be altered, cleaned, or repaired without prior written permission of SMM through the Conservator and curator (if applicable). Items must be maintained in a building equipped to protect items from fire, smoke, or flood damage; under 24-hour physical and/or electronic security; and protected from extreme temperature and humidity, excessive light, and from insects, vermin, dirt, or other environmental hazards. Only experienced and appropriately trained personnel must handle items. Items included in exhibits must be secured from damage and theft by appropriate brackets, railings, display case, or other responsible means.


Unless stated otherwise on the face of this agreement, items shall be insured at the borrower's expense during the period of this loan for the value stated on the face of this agreement under an all-risk wall-to-wall policy subject to SMM approval. If the borrower is insuring the item(s), SMM must be furnished with a certificate of insurance naming SMM as an additional insured or a copy of the policy, at SMM's option, prior to shipment of the item(s). The SMM Registrar must be notified in writing at least 20 days prior to any cancellation or change in the borrower's policy. Any lapses in coverage, any failure to secure insurance and/or any inaction by the lender regarding notice will not release the borrower from liability for loss or damage. Insurance value may be reviewed periodically and SMM reserves the right to increase coverage if reasonably justified during the loan period. In the event of loss or damage, the borrower's maximum liability will be limited to the insurance limits required under this agreement, whether such insurance is in effect or not.


Packing and transportation shall be by safe methods approved in advance by SMM. Experienced personnel under competent supervision must do unpacking and repacking. Repacking must be done with the same or similar material and boxes, and by the same methods as the item(s) were received. Any additional instructions specified by SMM will be followed. The borrower will pay packing and shipping charges.

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The borrower may photograph the item(s) covered by this agreement only for record and publicity purposes and for reproduction in exhibit publications unless otherwise specified on the face of this agreement. Framed, matted, or mounted items must not be removed from their frames, mats, or mounts for photography. Other photographic requests must be submitted in writing to SMM for prior approval, which may be withheld at SMM's sole discretion. The borrower may not reproduce such item(s) in any media for any purpose other than those specified in this agreement, nor may item(s) be subjected to technical examination, without the prior written permission of SMM. Information about each item that is used in publications, labels, or for any other purpose shall conform to the catalog data furnished by SMM and shall always credit The Science Museum of Minnesota using the exact credit line appearing on the face of this agreement.


Items lent must be returned to SMM in satisfactory condition by the date specified on the face of this agreement unless an extension of the loan period has been requested by the lender and approved in writing by SMM. If the loan period is extended, insurance coverage must also be extended for the full loan period. SMM reserves the right to recall the item(s) from loan on short notice, if necessary. Furthermore, SMM reserves the right to cancel this loan for good cause at any time and will make every effort to give reasonable notice thereof.


In the event of any conflict between this agreement and any forms of the borrower, the terms of this agreement shall be controlling.

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Appendix G - Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Procedures


Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a holistic method based on preventive measures rather than pesticides alone to mitigate the damage done by biological infestations. Integrated Pest Management relies on a combination of good housekeeping, monitoring, and targeting problems to stay on top of pest problems. This proactive approach will significantly reduce the number of infestations that occurs and will reduce the amount of pesticide used by modifying the environment to be less favorable to pests.


• Reduce incident of biological pests that threaten the visitor experience, public and staff safety and the safety of the collections • Take a proactive approach to the prevention of biodeterioration.
• Reduce dependence on and use of toxic chemicals to control biological pests
• Use eradication methods that are less toxic to staff, public and less damaging to the collections.


Monitoring tells us what is here. We obtain samples by trapping and through reports from the staff. In this way we determine what problems we are dealing with and where they are. Mitigation strategies are based on this data.


Samples obtained through monitoring are used to identify what species are present, lifecycle, food source and preferred habits.


Once the species is identified, the reason for it being in museum can be determined.

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Once the problem is known, a mitigation plan can be formulated. This is an integrated methodology, targeting specific pests with specific deterrents. The plan will look at how to reduce the pest incidence by disrupting access to food, shelter, water in the least toxic, yet effective method.


The first line of defense is to improve housekeeping at the building level, working down to the local level. Methods include sealing holes in the building, treating the exterior with perimeter sprays, and encouraging good housekeeping among the staff.


The goal is to treat according to object and to pest, to cause the least amount of damage to the object and the most to the pest. To do this, we isolate infested objects to determine if infestation is active is active or inactive and mitigate accordingly using the least toxic methods. Pesticides are used as a last resort, following all state and local regulations.


Records of past infestations provides us with the data to determine whether or not there are any patterns to the infestations and allow us to track down the cause of the infestation. Records are also key in the event of litigation.


The procedures must be updated to reflect current technology and state of the art methodology. Review provides a forum to analyze areas of concern in current procedures and a catalyst to improve mitigation techniques.


Staff understanding of IPM bring staff to "ownership" of procedures and provide improved monitoring. One of the goals of the Conservation Department is to educate the staff and public to the importance of integrated pest management.

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