Disposal toolkit

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  • 1. MUSEUMS ASSOCIATION disposaltoolkit GUIDELINES FORMUSEUMS
  • 2. 02 disposaltoolkit Disposalflowchart 3 Guidingprinciples 4 1.Introduction 5 Purpose of the toolkit 6 Scope of the toolkit 6 Using the toolkit 6 Ethical and legal context 7 Managing the process 7 2.Whydispose? 8 Outcomes and selection 9 Whose views should be sought 11 in the process? 3.Afteranitemhasbeen 13 selectedfordisposal 4.Methodsofdisposal 15 Free gift or transfer to another 16 Accredited museum Exchange of items between museums 16 Free gift or transfer to another 17 institution/organisation within the public domain Return to donor 17 Sale of items to an Accredited museum 18 Transfer outside the public domain 18 Sale outside the public domain 19 Recycling of item 19 Destruction of item 19 5.Recordingtheprocess 21 6.Dealingwithproblems 23 7.Communicating 25 theprocess Glossary 27 Appendices 28 1. Related organisations 28 2. Additional guidance from the 29 Charity Commission 3. Good Governance guidance 30 4. Additional guidance on financially motivated disposal (can be downloaded separately) Checklistfor 31 alldisposals Abbreviations: AAO:Accreditation Assessing Organisation ACE:Arts Council England CyMAL: Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales, a division of the Welsh Government DCMS:Department for Culture, Media and Sport MA:Museums Association MGS:Museums Galleries Scotland NIMC:Northern Ireland Museums Council Acknowledgements: The development and publication of this toolkit was made possible through funding from the MA’s Esmee Fairbairn Foundation- funded Effective Collections programme. Copyright Museums Association 2014 Contents
  • 3. Disposal Flowchart 03 disposaltoolkit Ifsuccessful: •Agreeanytermsandconditionswith newrecipient •Documenttheprocess •Transferlegaltitle •Communicatetheprocessproactively withstakeholdersandthepublic No No Yes No Ensureanapprovedcollections developmentpolicyisinplace, outliningscopeandabilitytodispose Selectpotentialitemstobedisposed offromcollection Formulateacommunicationsstrategy Haveethicalconsiderationsbeenmet? Clarifydesiredoutcomeofthe processanddrawupanassessment framework Selectmethodofdisposalmostlikely toachievedesiredoutcome Approachpotentialnewlocations directlyoradvertiseonMAwebsite, inMuseumsJournalandspecialist media(allowtwomonths) Isthemuseumlegallyabletodisposeof anitem? Reconsiderdecisiontodispose •Ifaloan,considerreturntoowner •Ifownershipisnotcleardueto poorrecords:undertakeresearchon theitemandariskassessmentof proposedremoval •Ifduetoconditionslaiddownattime ofentry:wherepossiblecontactdonor orfunderandconsiderreview ofconditions ENDPROCESS Yes Yes Unacceptabledisposal: •Primarilyforfinancialreasonsexcept inexceptionalcircumstances(see appendix4formoreguidance) •Onanadhocbasis •Withoutconsideringexpertadvice •Ifdoingsowouldadverselyaffectthe reputationofmuseums •Ifdoingsowouldnotbeinthelong terminterest •Ifdoingsowouldremovetheitem fromthepublicdomain,unlessin exceptionalcircumstances Canbarriertodisposalbeovercome? Ifunsuccessful: •Revisitdecisiontodisposeand desiredoutcome •Considerifdesiredoutcomecanbe achievedthroughanalternative methodofdisposal Ifnoalternativecanbefound
  • 4. 04 disposaltoolkit Guidingprinciples Collectionsare atangiblelink betweenthe past,present andfuture. *InthecaseofsomeLocalAuthoritymuseums, ring-fencingthemoneymaynotbepossible. Insuchcases,theuseoftheproceedsshould beclearlyarticulatedandmoneyallocated accordinglyinawaythatiscompatible withAccreditationandthe MACodeofEthics. ExtractfromtheMACodeofEthics 6.0Collectionsareatangiblelinkbetweenthe past,presentandfuture.Museumsbalance theinterestsofdifferentgenerationsby safeguardingcollections,whichmayinclude buildingsandsites. Museumsdevelopandimplementacollections developmentpolicyinordertoensure appropriatestandardsofcareandsecurityfor allitemsentrustedtothem,eitherpermanently oronloan. Museumsmeettheirresponsibilitytofuture generationsbyensuringthatcollectionsarewell managedandsustainable.Thereisastrong presumptioninfavouroftheretentionofitems withinthepublicdomain.Sometimestransfer withinthepublicdomain,oranotherformof disposal,canimproveaccessto,ortheuse,care orcontextof,itemsorcollections.Responsible, curatorially-motivateddisposaltakesplaceas partofamuseum’slong-termcollections developmentpolicy,inordertoincreasepublic benefitderivedfrommuseumcollections. 6.8Recognisethatformaltitletoand guardianshipofthecollectionsisvestedin thegoverningbody,whichmustsatisfyitself thatdecisionstodisposeareinformedbythe higheststandardsofexpertiseandtakeinto accountalllegalandotherattendant circumstances. 6.9Demonstrateclearlyhowthelong-term localandgeneralpublicinterestisservedin circumstancesinwhichdisposalmaybe appropriateandensurethatpublictrustin museumsisupheld. 6.10Giveprioritytotransferringitems, preferablybygift,toAccreditedmuseums. Considerdonatingitemstootherpublic institutionsifitisnotpossibleforanother museumtoacceptthem.Tomaintainpublic confidenceinmuseums,whereverpossibledo nottransferitemsoutofthepublicdomain. (Thisparagraphexcludesmaterialthatisbeing disposedofbecauseitisdamagedbeyonduse, dangerous,orisbeingreturnedtoitsplaceof originorrightfulowner.) 6.11Basedecisionstodisposeonclear, publishedcriteriaaspartoftheinstitution’s long-termcollectionsdevelopmentpolicy, approvedbythegoverningbody.Ensure transparencyandcarryoutanydisposalopenly, accordingtounambiguous,generallyaccepted procedures.Managetheprocesswithcareand sensitivitytopublicperceptions. 6.12Seektheviewsofstakeholders(such asdonors,researchers,localandsource communitiesandothersservedbythemuseum) whohaveavestedinterestinaproposed disposal.Insomecasesconsent fromthedonormaybealegalrequirement. Whereappropriateseektheviewsofcolleagues andsectorbodies. 6.13Refusetoundertakedisposalprincipally forfinancialreasons,exceptinexceptional circumstancesasdefinedin6.14.Financially motivateddisposalrisksdamagingpublic confidenceinmuseumsandtheprinciplethat collectionsshouldnotnormallyberegarded asfinancially-negotiableassets. 6.14Considerfinanciallymotivateddisposal onlyinexceptionalcircumstancesandwhen itcanbedemonstratedthat: •itwillsignificantlyimprovethelong-termpublic benefitderivedfromtheremainingcollection •itisnottogenerateshort-termrevenue (forexampletomeetabudgetdeficit) •itisasalastresortafterothersourcesof fundinghavebeenthoroughlyexplored •extensivepriorconsultationwithsector bodieshasbeenundertaken •theitemunderconsiderationlies outsidethemuseum’sestablishedcore collectionasdefinedinthecollections developmentpolicy. 6.15Ring-fence*anymoneyraisedasaresult ofdisposalthroughsale,ifthisexceptional circumstancearises,solelyanddirectlyfor thebenefitofthemuseum’scollection.Money raisedmustberestrictedtothelong-term sustainability,useanddevelopmentofthe collection.Ifindoubtabouttheproposeduse ofsuchrestrictedfundsconsultsectorbodies. 6.16Openlycommunicateanddocumentall disposalsandthebasisonwhichdecisionsto disposeweremade. 6.17Applyanymoneyreceivedin compensationfortheloss,damage ordestructionofobjectsinthe collectionsolelyanddirectlyforthe benefitofthemuseum’scollection. 6.18Respondtorequestsfor returnofhumanremains,and otherculturallysensitivematerial withunderstandingandrespect forcommunitiesoforigin.
  • 5. 1I ntroduction “Museumsenablepeople toexplorecollectionsfor inspiration,learningand enjoyment.Theyareinstitutions thatcollect,safeguardand makeaccessibleartefactsand specimens,whichtheyhold intrustforsociety.” MAdefinitionofamuseum 05 disposaltoolkit
  • 6. Footnotes 1. Exceptinthecaseof closedcollections 2. Thistoolkitreplacesthe previousversionpublishedin2008 3. FurtheradvicecanbefoundintheDCMSDue DilligenceGuidelinesonIllicitTrade:http:// webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/ www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/ publications/3697.aspx Guidanceforthecareofhumanremainsin museums:http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov. uk/+/http:/www.culture.gov.uk/reference_ library/publications/3720.aspx MGSGuidelinesforcareofhumanremainsin Scottishmuseumcollections:www. museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/research-and- resources/resources/publications/ publication/378/guidelines-for-the-care-of- human-remains-in-scottish-museum-collections Museumcollections representthegenerosity ofpastandcurrentdonors andtheendeavoursof collectors.Thesecollections areestablishedforthelong termandeachgeneration hasresponsibilitytothe nexttoensuretheydonot becomeunmanageableor aburdenandthatthey remainsustainable. Equallyitisimperativethatcollectionsareused anddevelopedinresponsetotheneedsof today’ssociety.Museumsmustbalancethe safeguardingandretentionofitemswithin theircollectionswiththeneedtoreviewand developcollections,acquireitemsand, insomecases,removethem. Museumcollectionsshouldbedeveloped sothattheyprovidethebestcareand opportunitiesforuseandengagement. Curatoriallymotivateddisposalisanintegral partofresponsiblecollectionsmanagement andwillensurethatmuseumsarefitfor futuregenerations. Disposingofitemsisnotwithoutrisk;however therecanbesignificantbenefitsiftheprocess iswellmanaged.Thesecanincludeproviding bettercareandcurationforanitemor improvingitspublicaccessanduse.Disposal shouldnotbeundertakeninisolation,but shouldbepartofongoingcollections development,includingcontinuedacquisition1 . 06 disposaltoolkit INTRODUCTION Mostitemsaredonated,bequeathedor purchasedformuseumcollectionsinthe expectationthattheywillberetainedfor thelongtermandmadeaccessiblewithinthe publicdomain.Itisessentialthatanydisposals takeaccountofthisexpectationanddonot damagepublicconfidenceinmuseums. Museumsaretrustedinstitutionsanditis importantthatthislegacyisnotdamaged. Theymustensuretransparencyandopenness aroundthedisposalofitemsfromcollections. Astrongframeworkalreadyexistswithin theUKthroughethicaladvicefromtheMA, standardsandprocedureslaiddowninthe AccreditationSchemeformuseumsand galleries,andstandardsdevelopedbythe CollectionsTrusttosupportmuseumsto considerandundertakeresponsibledisposal. Purposeofthetoolkit Thistoolkit2 providesgeneralinformationand guidanceoncuratoriallymotivateddisposalof itemsfrommuseumcollections. (Additionalguidanceonfinanciallymotivated disposalcanbefoundinAppendix4,whichcan bedownloadedseparatelybutshouldberead inconjunctionwiththistoolkit.) Theseguidelineswillsupportandadvise museumswhenmakingdecisionstodispose ofitemsfromtheircollections.Theguidelines considerarangeoffactorsandareintended toensurethatanydisposalsbenefitmuseums, theircollectionsandthepublic. Theguidanceissupportedbyadditional informationandadviceinthedisposal sectionoftheMA’swebsite: www.museumsassociation.org Scopeofthetoolkit Thistoolkitprovidesgeneralinformation andguidanceondisposalforallmuseums. Howeveritisnotwithinthescopeofthis documenttodealindetailwithindividual typesofcollectionandthepotentialissues thatmayrelatetothesecollections.Museums maywishtoseekfurthersubject-specific advicefromadditionalsources3 . Theguidelinesdonotcoverindetaildisposal throughreturnorrepatriationofitems. Museumswithcollectionsthatmaybe subjecttorequestsforrepatriationorreturn areadvisedtocreateseparatepoliciesand procedurestoaddressthis. Usingthetoolkit Theadviceprovidedisunderpinnedbythe MACodeofEthics;referencetorelevant aspectsofthecodeshouldbeconsidered whenmakingdecisions.Thisguidanceshould beusedinconjunctionwithamuseum’sexisting developmentpoliciessuchasthosecovering acquisitionsanddisposal,aswellasany strategiesforcollectionsdevelopment.The toolkitisnotasubstituteforlegaladviceand museumsshouldseekindependentlegal advicewherenecessary.NeithertheMA norAAOsareabletoprovidelegaladvice. Eachmuseumwillneedtouseitsown judgementwhenapplyingthisguidanceto specificcircumstances.Thetoolkitprompts museumstoconsiderarangeoffactorsin makinganydecisions.Whatevercourseof actionamuseumchoosestoundertake, itmustbeabletoarticulatethisclearly.
  • 7. 07 disposaltoolkit INTRODUCTION Ifyouareuncertainorconcernedaboutany courseofactionamuseumisconsidering, pleasecontacttheMAforadditionaladvice andguidance. Thistoolkitshouldbeusedinconjunction withtheMACodeofEthics,SPECTRUM: TheUKMuseumDocumentationStandard, theAccreditationStandardandamuseum’s owncollectionsdevelopmentpolicy. Thetoolkitshouldinformtheorganisation’s disposalpolicyandproceduresrequiredby theAccreditationStandard. Ethicalandlegalcontext Ethicalcontext TheMACodeofEthicssupportstheresponsible disposalofitemsfrommuseumcollections solongastheymeetalllegalrequirements. Ethicaldisposalischaracterisedasbeing undertakenwhen: •itiswithintheframeworkofaclearlydefined collectionsdevelopmentpolicy •itisontheadviceofarangeofstaff(notan individual)andisagreedbythegoverningbody •itisdonewiththeintentionthatwherever possibleitemsremainwithinthepublicdomain •itisunlikelytodamagepublictrustinmuseums •itislikelytoincreasethepublicbenefitderived frommuseumcollections. Legalcontext Museumsmayencounterlegalrestrictionsthat willaffecttheirabilitytodisposeofitemsfrom theircollections.Theseincluderestrictionslaid downthroughlegislationrelatingtospecific museums,suchasnationalmuseums,and generallegislationrelatingtocharities.Museums thatareconstitutedascharitiesaresubject tothetrustsanddirectionslaiddownintheir governingdocuments.Theyarealsosubjectto legislationgoverningallcharitiesandthismay constrainamuseum’sabilitytoremoveitems fromacollectionoritsmethodofdoingso. Museumsmayalsobesubjecttootherlegal restrictionsarisingfromconditionsattached todonationsorbequests. Itisvitalwhenconsideringdisposingofany itemthatamuseumensuresthatitislegally abletodoso.Ifthereisanydoubtaboutthe legalimplicationsofacourseofaction,the museumisadvisedtoseekappropriateadvice. Thegeneralguidanceinthetoolkitshould beapplicabletomuseumsacrosstheUKbut differentlawsmayapplyindifferentparts oftheUK. (Foradditionaladviceandguidancefrom theCharityCommissionseeAppendix2.) Goodgovernance Formaltitletoandguardianshipofthe collectionsisvestedinthemuseum’sgoverning body,whichmustsatisfyitselfthatdecisionsto disposeareinformedbythehigheststandards ofexpertiseandtakeintoaccountalllegaland otherattendantcircumstances. Theprocessofdisposalshouldalwaysreflect principlesofgoodgovernance.Theseprinciples areassetoutinGoodGovernance:ACodefor theVoluntaryandCommunitySector(see Appendix3). Managingtheprocess Undertakingareviewofcollectionsandthe subsequentdisposalofitemscanrequire considerableresourcesandasignificant amountofwork.Carefulplanningandgood managementarenecessarytocarryoutthe workthoroughlyandsuccessfully.Before beginningtheprocess,considerthefollowing: •Timescale Createatimetabletoassistinplanning, administeringandmonitoringthework. Undertakingacomprehensivereviewand programmeofdisposalistimeconsuming. •Budget Thereviewanddisposalofitemsisnotcost free.Ensurethatanynecessaryresources, includingstafftime,areavailabletosupport thework.Itisrecommendedthatabudgetbe assignedforthisspecificpurpose. •Staffandreporting Identifyanystaffwhowillbeinvolvedinthe process.Ifmorethanonememberofstaff isinvolved(asisrecommended)thenthe rolesandresponsibilitiesofeachperson shouldbeclearlyarticulatedbefore theworkcommences. Aclearstructureforreporting,reviewingand approvingtheworkshouldbeestablished. Thegoverningbodyshouldbeincludedin theprocess. Formoreadvicesee Whoseviewsshouldbesoughtintheprocess? onpage11
  • 8. 2Why dispose? 08 disposaltoolkit INTRODUCTION
  • 9. Outcomesandselection Outcomesfromthedisposalofanitem fromacollection Beforeundertakingthedisposalofanyitem, theintendedoutcomesoftheprocessshould beconsideredandarticulated.Definingclear outcomeswillassistinthedecision-making processandtheidentificationofasuitable methodfordisposal.Ifthedesiredoutcome cannotbeachieved,itisadvisabletoreviewthe decision.Inthecaseofacharitytheobjectsand purposesofthecharitymustbeconsidered. Likelyintendedoutcomesfromdisposal: Theseoutcomesshoulddemonstrate howpublicbenefitwillincreaseasaresult. Itisrecommendedthatdisposalshouldbe basedonachievingasmanyoftheprimary outcomeslistedbelowaspossible,although theincidentaloutcomesmayalsoresult. Primaryoutcomesofacuratorially motivateddisposal •improvedcarefortheitem •improvedaccesstotheitem;increased enjoymentofandengagementwiththe itembythepublic •improvedcontextfortheitem •continuedretentionoftheitemwithin publicmuseumcollectionsorthewider publicdomain •removalofanyhazardposedbyanitem (e.g.throughcontamination). Incidentaloutcomesofacuratorially motivateddisposal •resourcesfreeduptobettercareforand utiliseotherpartsofthecollection •creatingoroptimisingspace(inordertoassist theimprovedcareandcontinuedacquisition ofcollections). Theaboveoutcomesshowthattherearea varietyofreasonswhyamuseummayselectan itemfordisposal.Beforebeginningthedisposal process,amuseumshouldestablishclear selectioncriteriabywhichtojudgeeach decision.Creatingaframeworkforassessing items,whichcanbeusedinacollectionsreview, providesausefulguidewhenmakingdecisions. Decisionsmust: •bemadewithinthecontextofanapproved collectionsdevelopmentpolicy •bebasedonclearlyexpressedintended outcomes •demonstratelong-termbenefitto: -themuseumcollection -publicuseofandengagementwith museumcollections. Itisunacceptabletodisposeofanitem: •forfinancialreasons(unlessinexceptional circumstances,inwhichcasetheadditional guidanceinAppendix4shouldbefollowed) •onanadhocbasis(i.e.otherthanaspartof anapprovedcollectionsdevelopmentpolicy) •withoutconsideringadvicefromsomeone withspecialistknowledgeofthistypeofitem •ifthedisposalwouldadverselyaffectthe publicreputationofmuseums •ifthedisposalwouldnotbeinthelong-term publicinterest •outsidethepublicdomain,exceptin exceptionalcircumstances. Museumsdisposingofitemswiththeoverriding aimofachievinganyoftheincidentaloutcomes shouldproceedwithcaution. Significantconsequencesmayarisefrom anunethicaldisposal.Ifyouareconcerned aboutaproposeddisposal,especially whereanincidentaloutcomeisa significantmotivation,pleasecontactthe MAforadditionaladviceandguidance. Selection: Inordertoachievetheprimaryoutcomesa museummayselect: Itemsthatfalloutsidethecorecollection asdefinedbyamuseum’scollections developmentpolicy AllAccreditedmuseumsmusthaveanapproved collectionsdevelopmentpolicyinplace.This guidesacquisitionanddisposal,andshapesthe collection.Collectionsevolveanditmaybethat certainobjectsnolongerfallwithinthecore collectionasdefinedbyamuseum’scollections developmentpolicy*.Ifanitemisnolonger relevant,notinuseorthereisnoreasonable expectationofitbeingused,itmaybe appropriatetodisposeofit. (*Notfittingwithintheconfinesofthe collection,asdefinedbytheapproved collectionsdevelopmentpolicy,shouldnot 09 disposaltoolkit Whydispose?
  • 10. automaticallynecessitateanitem’sdisposal. Iftheitemiscurrentlybeingused,hasbeen usedrecentlyorhasidentifiablepotentialusein thefuturethereisastrongcaseforretention.) Thingstoconsider: •whywastheitemacquiredinthefirstplace? •istheitemcurrentlybeingused? Ifso,then thereisastrongargumentforretention •istheitembeingselectedbecauseitisout offashion?Ifso,proceedwithcaution •wouldtheitemfitbetterandbemorewidely usedandaccessibleinanothermuseum’s collection(e.g.woulditbemoregeographically orculturallyrelevant)? Duplicateitems Thefactthatanobjectisanapparentduplicate shouldnotautomaticallybeajustificationfor disposal;theseitemsmayhavesignificant storiesorhistoriesattachedtothem,which needtobeassessed. Thingstoconsider: •istheduplicateinuse? Arethereany identifiableusesfortheiteminthefuture? •doestheitemhaveauniquehistory? •isthereculturalvalueinretainingmorethan oneoftheitems? •couldausebefoundfortheiteminanother partofthecollection(e.g.education)? •istheduplicateitemlikelytobefoundinother museums?(Ifso,itmaybedifficulttotransfer.) Underuseditems Someitemswithincollectionshavenever beenusedorarerarelyused.Ifthereislittle ornolikelihoodofthemuseumfindingause inthefuture,itmaybeappropriatetoremove itfromthecollection. Thingstoconsider: •whyisthisitemunused;whatarethe potentialopportunitiesforuseinthefuture? •coulditbebetterusedbyanothermuseum? •ifspecialistknowledgecouldbeobtained, istherealikelihoodthattheitemcouldbe broughtintouse? •isthespecialistknowledgemorelikelytobe availableiftheitemistransferred? •whatistheculturalsignificanceoftheitem withinthecollection? •istheitemuniqueoristhereothersimilar materialinthecollection? •istheitembeingselectedbecauseitisoutof fashion?Ifso,proceedwithcaution •couldthemuseumfindausefortheitem(e.g. objecthandling,educationorsetdressing)? Itemsforwhichthemuseumisunableto provideadequatecareorcuration Somemuseumsmayfindthattheyhaveitems intheircollectionsthattheyeitherdonothave thespecialistknowledgetouseappropriately, orlackadequateresourcestocarefor.Insuch caseswherethereislittleexpectationthatthe museumwillbeabletoprovidesuitablecare,it maybemoreappropriatetoremoveitemstoa collectionwheretheircarecanbeimproved. Thingstoconsider: •istheitemrelevanttothecollection? •wouldtheitemfitbetterinanothercollection? •cantheresourcesbeobtainedtocarefor theitem? •aretheresourcesmorelikelytobeavailable inanothermuseum? Itemsthataredamagedordeteriorated beyondthemuseum’sabilitytorepair Theremaybeitemsthataredamaged beyondthemuseum’sabilitytorepairthem andthereforecannotbeused.Suchitems maybeconsideredfordisposal. Thingstoconsider: •istheitembeyondrepair? •whatwoulditcosttoconserveorrepair theitem? •isthecostofconservingandrepairingthe itemwithintheresourcesofthemuseum? •isanotherowner,suchasanothermuseum oraspecialistorenthusiasts’group,better abletorepairandusetheitem? 10 disposaltoolkit Whydispose? Uncontextualisedorunprovenanceditems Duetopastmethods,managementand recordingofacquisitions,museumsmay possessmaterialthatlacksdocumentationand recordedprovenance.Insomesuchcasesitems maynotbeofuseandasaresultamuseummay considerremovingthemfromthecollection. (SeeSection6,p23.) Thingstoconsider: •hassufficienteffortbeenmadetoresearch theitem’shistory? •cananotherusebefoundfortheitem? •hasthemuseumundertakenarisk assessmentrelatingto disposaloftheitem?
  • 11. Itemsthatposeathreattohealth andsafety Museumsmayholditemsthatarehazardous tothepublicortheworkforceonhealthand safetygrounds.Itmaybeadvisabletodispose oftheseitems. Thingstoconsider: •whatistherisktothepublicandtheworkforce? •isitpossibletoremovetheriskandstillretain theitem? •howcantheitembedestroyedsafely? •whatlegislationmayaffecttheitem’s retentionordisposalfromthecollection? Museumsselectingitemsforthefollowing reasonsshouldproceedwithcaution: Itemsthatcouldbesoldtopurchase betterexamples Museumsmayconsiderselectinganitemonthe groundsthatabetterexamplemaybeavailable andwouldenhancethecollection.Thispractice isoftenreferredtoas‘tradingup’.Itisnot commonpracticeintheUKandassuch,careful considerationshouldbegiventothemissionof themuseum,theimplicationsandreactionto thiscourseofaction. Thingstoconsider: •whatisthesignificanceoftheselected itemwithinthecontextofthecollection? •whatimpactmightthelossoftheitem haveonthecollection? •howdoesthiscourseofactionservethe publicinterest? Itemsthatareselectedfortheir potentialtogenerateincome Thereisahighlevelofriskinvolvedinthiscourse ofactionanditshouldonlytakeplaceafter extensiveconsultationwiththeMAandother sectorbodies.Museumsconsideringthiscourse ofactionshouldfollowthedetailedguidanceon financiallymotivateddisposalinAppendix4. Whoseviewsshouldbe soughtintheprocess? Thefinaldecisionaboutwhetheranitemis removedfromacollectionrestswiththe governingbody;howeverarangeofviews shouldbesoughtintheprocess. Museumworkforce Itisgoodpracticetoinvolvearangeofpeople workinginthemuseuminthediscussionsand selectionofitemstoberemoved.Thismight includepeopleworkinginothersubject disciplinesorothermuseumactivitiessuch asinterpretation,education,marketingand front-of-house.Somemuseumshaveinternal disposalpanelstooverseetheprocess. Ifthesubjectspecialistknowledgetoassess itemsinthecollectionisnotavailablewithin themuseumthenadvicemustbesoughtfrom externalsources.Itisadvisabletoseekmore thanoneopinion,especiallyifamuseumis seekingadvicefromanauctionhouseordealer. Potentialsourcesofadviceinclude:museums withsimilarcollections;subjectspecialist networks;anduniversities.Theremayalsobe opportunitiestoconsiderareviewofaspects ofthecollectionincollaborationwithother colleaguesinthesector. 11 disposaltoolkit Whydispose? Externalfunders Iftheitemwasacquiredorconservedwith externalfundingthentheappropriatefunding bodymustbecontacted.Itsviewsandany requirementsitmakesmustbetakeninto considerationbeforeanydisposaldecision canbemade.Repaymentofanyfunds providedmaybenecessary. Donors Donorsareessentialtothedevelopmentof museumcollections,bothinthepastandthe future,soconsideringtheirviewsandreactions isimportant.Opinionontheinvolvementof donorsinthedisposalprocessvariesbut museumsareencouragedtoconsiderthe sensibilitiesofdonorswhenmakingdecisions, aspartofanyduediligenceprocess.Inallcases museumsmustconsidertheoriginaltermsof thedonation. Museumscurrentlyinvolvedonorsatavariety ofstagesoftheprocess:toseektheirviewson thedisposalofanitem;toinformthemasa courtesyonceadecisionhasbeenmade;orin somecasestoreturnanitem.Museumsmay considerinvolvingorcontactingdonorsasa significantpartofmanaginganyriskinvolved inthedisposalprocess,andasamethodof maintainingpublictrust. Whendecidingwhethertoinvolvedonorsinany partoftheprocess,museumsshouldconsider howtheiractions: •couldaffectpublictrustinmuseums •couldaffectfuturedonationstomuseums •willmeettheneedfortransparencyand opennessarounddisposal.
  • 12. Museumsmayberequiredtoinvolvedonorsin theprocessduetoconditionsmadeatthetime ofacquisition.Insomecasesthenatureofthe relationshipwiththedonor(e.g.alivingartist) willnecessitateconsultation. Museumsmaynotconsideritappropriateto involvedonorsinthedecision-makingprocess. However,itisrecommendedthatdonorsare informedasacourtesyonceadecisionhas beenmade.Anycommunicationwithdonors shouldoutlinewhythedecisionhasbeenmade, whathashappenedtoanyitemasaresultand thepotentialbenefitsofthiscourseofaction. Tracingandcontactingpastdonorscanbe timeconsuming.Itisrecommendedthat museumsformulateapolicythatclearly statesthelengthstowhichitwillgotofulfil anycommitmenttoinformpastdonors. Anypolicycouldinclude: •arealisticandpragmatictimelimitonwhich donorswillbecontacted(e.g.onlythosewho havedonateditemsinthepast10or20years) •anagreementtowriteonlytothelastknown address(nottoundertakeworktoobtaina newaddressifadonorhasmoved) •whatperiodoftimewillbegivenfordonors torespondtoinformationrelatingtoa proposeddisposal •whetherdescendantsofdonorswillbe contacted,andaproportionateapproach ifthisisbeingconsidered. Whetherornotamuseumchoosestoinvolve donors,itmustbeabletoarticulateclearlywhy ithasadoptedtheapproachinquestion.Ifa museumdoesinvolvedonors,clearparameters shouldbeestablishedsothatexpectations canbemanaged. 12 disposaltoolkit Whydispose? Inordertomitigatefutureproblemswith donorsinrelationtothedisposalofitems, ensurethatadequateinformationrelatingto thepossibilityofdisposalinthefutureis providedatthetimeofallnewacquisitions. (SeetheMA’sethicalguidelinesonacquisition, whichprovideguidanceonproducingentry formsandletterstopotentialdonors: www.museumsassociation.org) Otherstakeholders Itisrecommendedthatmuseumsconsider theviewsoftheirstakeholdersandthose whohaveavestedinterestinthecollections, suchasvisitors,researchers,localorsource communitiesand,inthecaseofcontemporary art,livingartists.Museumscanbenefitfrom involvingthoseoutsidethemuseumbyusing communitypanels,forexample.Thisisauseful waytomeettherequirementforgreater transparencyandopenness. Itmaybeadvisableformuseumstoadopt aflexibleapproachtoinvolvementand consultationwithothersasthe appropriatenessofconsultationmaydiffer dependingontheitembeingremoved.For example,thematerialmayrelatetoaclearly identifiablegrouporconstituencyofthelocal populationwhomayhaveastrongconnection totheitem,oritmaybeofparticularrelevance orconnectedtostakeholdersoverseas. Itisrecommended thatmuseums considertheviews oftheirstakeholders andthosewhohave avestedinterestin thecollections.
  • 13. 3A fter anitemh asb eenselected fordisposal 13 disposaltoolkit
  • 14. Onceamuseumhas selectedanitemfor disposal,thecurrentstatus oftheitemandthemethod ofitsentryintothe collectionshouldbe investigated.Thiscould affectanyproposedcourse ofactionandmayinfluence themethodofdisposal. Loan:Iftheiteminquestionisonloan,contact thelendertodiscussitsreturn. Purchase:Iftheitemwasacquiredwiththe assistanceofexternalfunds,contactfunding bodiestodiscussanyplannedcourseofaction. Donation/bequest:Establishwhetherthere wereanyconditionslaiddownatthetimeof depositionthatmayaffectanyplanned disposal. Unaccessioned/methodofentryunknown: Themuseummustgotoreasonablelengthsto researchthehistoryofanitem. Checkthatyouarelegallyabletodispose Reviewthedocumentationoftheitemto ensurethatthemuseumhaslegaltitleto removeitandthattherearenoconditions attachedthatmightpreventthemuseum fromfollowingthiscourseofaction.(Take legaladviceifnecessary.) Ifthemuseumisplanningtodisposeof unaccessioneditemswhereformaltitlecannot beestablished,ariskassessmentofthiscourse ofactionshouldbeundertaken. Makingthedecisiontoremove Decisionstoremoveanitemfromthecollection mustbemadebythemuseum’sgoverningbody, actingontheadviceofrelevantstaff.Decisions toremovemustnotbemadebyamemberof staffactingalone.Thefinaldecisionrelatingto thedisposalofanitemmustbeapprovedby thegoverningbodyanddocumented. Consequencesofanunethicaldecision toremove Unethicaldecisionstodisposeofanitemmay havesignificantconsequencesforamuseum. Thesearelikelytoinclude: •lossordamageofpublictrustinallmuseums •adversepublicityandlong-termnegative perceptionsofthemuseum •lossofAccreditedstatus •disciplinaryactionfromtheMA(ifamember). Thesefactorsarehighlylikelytojeopardisea museum’sabilitytosecureinvestmentfrom fundingbodies.Unacceptabledisposalofan itemmayalsoaffectworkingrelationships withotherAccreditedmuseums,whoasa resultmaybeunwillingtoloanitemsorwork oncollaborativeprojects. Oncethedecisionhasbeenmade,selectthe mostappropriatemethodofdisposal. 14 disposaltoolkit Afteranitemhas beenselected fordisposal
  • 15. 15 disposaltoolkit 4M eth ods ofdisposal
  • 16. Thefollowingshouldbeofkey considerationwhenselectingamethod ofdisposal: •thereisastrongpresumptionforkeeping itemswithinthepublicdomain •thereisastrongpreferenceforfreegift ortransfertootherAccreditedmuseums anditemsshouldbeofferedtotheminthe firstinstance •actionshouldbetakenthatensurecontinued publictrustinmuseums. Whatevermethodofdisposalisselected, thefollowingstepsmustbetakenin allcases: •identifyAccreditedmuseumswithsuitable collectionsandapproachdirectly •ifnomuseumisidentified,informthemuseum sectorandotherrelevantgroupsofavailability ofitems •ensuretransparencyandcommunicatethe processbeyondthemuseum •ensuretransferoflegaltitletoanyrecipient andanyappropriatetransferofintellectual propertyrights •documenttheprocess. Inordertoselect themostsuitable methodofdisposal keepinmindthe desiredoutcome. Inordertoselectthemostsuitablemethodof disposalkeepinmindthedesiredoutcome. Freegiftortransferto anotherAccreditedmuseum Itisrecommendedthatwherepossible preferencebegiventothismethodofdisposal, asitisthemostlikelytoensurethatitems remaincaredforandaccessibletothepublic. Thisapproachhasbeencentraltothe longstandingtraditionofmutualcooperation betweenmuseums. Thingstoconsider: •howwouldthetransferoftheitemtoanother museumhelptoachievethedesiredoutcome? •whatisthepotentialforincreaseduseofthe itemthroughtransfertoanothermuseum? •isthereceivingmuseumabletoprovide adequatecareandopportunitiesforaccess? •anyconditionsoftransfer •publicreactiontotransfer. Stepstotake: •ensurethatthemuseumislegallyableto removetheitembyfreegiftortransfer •ifpossible,identifymuseumswithsuitable collectionsandapproachdirectly •ifnomuseumisidentifieddirectly,informthe museumsectorandotherrelevantgroupsof availabilityofitems •onceanewrecipientisidentified,agree termsfortransfer(cost,responsibilityfor transportetc.) •ensuretransferoflegaltitletoreceiving institution •documenttheitemandtheprocess. Whattodoifthismethodisunsuccessful: •revisitthedecisiontoremovetheitem •considerwhetherthedesiredoutcome couldbeachievedthroughanothermethod ofdisposal. Informingthemuseumsectorandrelevant organisations: Unlessanitemgoesdirectlytoanother Accreditedmuseumorisbeingreturnedor repatriated,themuseumsectorandother relevantorganisationsshouldbeinformed andofferedtheitems. Toinformthesectoranoticecanbeplacedon theMA’sFindanObjectweblistingservice: www.museumsassociation.org/collections Thisfacilityallowsmuseumstoprovide comprehensiveinformationaboutitemsthey wishtodisposeof.Allowatleasttwomonths forothermuseumstoexpressaninterest. NoticescanalsobeplacedinMuseumsJournal andotherspecialistpressorrelevantwebsites. Exchangeofitems betweenmuseums Museumsmaychoosetoexchangeitems betweenthemselves.Exchangingcollectionsis commonpracticeinthefieldofnaturalhistory. 16 disposaltoolkit Methodsof disposal
  • 17. There isastrong preferencefor andtraditionof freegiftortransfer betweenmuseums. Freegiftortransferto anotherinstitution/ organisationwithinthe publicdomain4 Itisrecommendedthatthismethodofdisposal isonlyundertakenonceithasbeenestablished thatnoAccreditedmuseumisabletoaccept anitem. Thingstoconsider: •howwilltransferoftheitemtoanotherbody withinthepublicdomainhelptoachievethe desiredoutcome? •whataretheotherbenefitsoftransferring theitemtoanotherbodywithinthe publicdomain? •isthepotentialrecipientabletoprovide adequatecareandopportunitiesfor accessanduse? •shouldconditionsbeimposedand,ifso, whatshouldtheybe? •Howmightthepublicreacttothetransfer? Stepstotake: •identifypotentialrecipientsandapproach directly •ifsuccessful,onceanewrecipientisidentified agreetermsandconditionsfortransfer(such as:costandresponsibilityfortransport,any potentialfuturecontact,anyobligations shouldthenewrecipientnolongerrequire theitemorbeabletoprovideadequatecare oraccess) •ensuretransferoflegaltitletorecipient •ensuretransparencyandcommunicate theprocess •documenttheitemandtheprocess. Whattodoifthismethodisunsuccessful: •revisitthedecisiontodisposeoftheitem •considerwhetherthedesiredoutcome couldbeachievedthroughanothermethod ofdisposal. Returntodonor Museumsmayconsiderreturningitemsto donors,especiallyifitappearsimpossible tokeeptheminthepublicdomain.Itis recommendedthatreturntoadonorisonly consideredoncetheitemhasbeenofferedto othermuseums,unlessthereareextenuating circumstancessuchas:conditionslaiddownon donation;anitemhavingaparticularpersonal significancetothedonorandalowculturalvalue; orastronglikelihoodthattheitemwill betransferredoutofthelocalarea. Returnofitemstothedescendantsofdonors mayproveproblematicandshouldbegiven carefulconsideration. Thingstoconsider: •howwillthereturnoftheitemtothedonor helptoachievethedesiredoutcome? •isthemuseumlegallyabletoreturntheitem? (seeAppendix2foradvicefromtheCharity Commission) •thelengthoftimesincethedonationwasmade andthelikelihoodofthedonor’sdetailsbeing up-to-date(Itmaybeusefultosetaspecific timeperiodwheninvolvingdonors–for exampleiftheitemwasdonatedinthepast10 years,attemptswillbemadetocontact-see Whoseviewsshouldbesoughtintheprocess? onpage11formoreinformation) •riskoffamilydisputesovertheitem •publicreactiontothedisposal. Stepstotake: •contactdonortoascertainwhethertheywould liketheitemback •ensuretransferoflegaltitletorecipient •documenttheitemandtheprocess. Whattodoifthismethodisunsuccessful: •revisitthedecisiontodisposeoftheitem •considerwhetherthedesiredoutcome couldbeachievedthroughanothermethod ofdisposal. 17 disposaltoolkit Methodsof disposal Footnote 4. Seeglossaryfor definitionofpublicdomain
  • 18. Saleofitemtoan Accreditedmuseum Thereisastrongpreferenceandtraditionof freegiftortransferbetweenmuseums.Itis recommendedthatofferingitemstoother museumsbysaleisnotconsideredinthefirst instance.Requestingpaymentfromother publiclyfundedmuseumsmayaffectthe likelihoodofanewlocationbeingfoundand makeitlesslikelythatitemswillberetained withinthepublicdomain. However,somemuseumsmaychoosetosellto othermuseumsinthefirstinstance.Thismay bebecausetheinstitutionpurchasedtheitem withitsownfundsorhasinvestedasignificant amountofmoneyinconservingit.Some museumsmaybelegallyrequiredundercharity lawtosellitems(seeAppendix2). Anymoneyraisedasaresultofdisposal throughsalemustbeappliedsolelyanddirectly forthebenefitofthemuseum’scollection. Moneyraisedshouldbeinvestedinthe long-termsustainability,useanddevelopment ofthecollection(e.g.bycreatingorincreasing anendowment,makingnewacquisitionsor makingasignificantcapitalinvestmentwhich willbringlong-termbenefit).Theuseof proceedsfromanysalewillbemonitored throughtheAccreditationprocess. Moreguidanceonthesaleofmuseum collections,particularlyfinanciallymotivated disposal,canbefoundinAppendix4. Thingstoconsider: •howwillthesaleoftheitemhelptoachieve thedesiredoutcome? •whatareotherbenefitstothepublicfrom thissale? •isthecurrentmarketpriceortheoriginal purchasepricebeingsoughtfortheitem? •whatisthelikelihoodofanothermuseum beingabletopurchasetheitem? •whatcourseofactionwillbetakenifno museumisabletopurchasetheitem? (e.g.offeringtheitematareducedprice5 orasalong-termloan) •howwilltheproceedsofthesalebeused? •publicreactiontothesale. Stepstotake: •ifpossible,identifymuseumswithsuitable collectionsandapproachdirectly •ifnomuseumisidentified,informthe museumsectorandotherrelevantgroups ofavailabilityofitems(seeInformingthe museumsectoronpage16) •seekexpertindependentadviceontheitem’s financialvalueandrecommendanypurchaser doesthesame •ensuretransferoflegaltitletorecipient •ensuretransparencyandcommunicate theprocess •documenttheitemandtheprocess. Whattodoifthismethodisunsuccessful: •revisitthedecisiontodisposeoftheitem •considerwhetherthedesiredoutcome couldbeachievedthroughanothermethod ofdisposal •consideranalternativecourseofaction (suchasofferingtheitematareducedprice orasalong-termloan). Transferoutsidethe publicdomain Thiscourseofactionshouldnormallyonlybe undertakenafterithasbeenestablishedthat nomuseum(orotherorganisationwithinthe widerpublicdomain)isabletotaketheitem. Museumsshouldfirstadvertisetheavailability oftheitemtomuseumsontheMA’sFindan Objectweblistingservice.Transferoutsidethe publicdomainisnotrecommendedasaninitial courseofaction. Theremayhoweverbecircumstanceswhere itisappropriateandthedesiredoutcomescan bemetbytransferringitemstoindividualsor bodiesoutsideofthepublicdomain,suchas enthusiastorspecialistgroups. Thingstoconsider: •howwillthedisposaloftheitemhelpto achievethedesiredoutcome? •canadequatelong-termcarebeprovided fortheitem? •willthepublichaveanyaccesstotheitem? •areconditionsgoingtobeplacedonthe transfer?Forexample,iftherecipientno longerrequirestheitem,shouldit bereturnedtothemuseumin thefirstinstance? •publicreactionto thetransfer. Stepstotake: •identifyandinformpotentialorganisations orindividuals •ifsuccessful,oncearecipientisidentified agreetermsandconditionsfortransfer (e.g.costandresponsibilityfortransport;any potentialfuturecontact;requirementsshould theitemnolongerbewantedatafuturedate) •ensuretransferoflegaltitletoreceivingbody •ensuretransparencyandcommunicate theprocess •documenttheitemandtheprocess. Whattodoifmethodisunsuccessful: •revisitthedecisiontodisposeoftheitem •considerwhetherthedesiredoutcome couldbeachievedthroughanother methodofdisposal. 18 disposaltoolkit Methodsof disposal Footnote 5. Formoreinformationonsaleata reducedpriceseeAppendix4
  • 19. TransfertomuseumsoutsideoftheUK Followingresearchcarriedoutaspartofa collectionsreview,amuseummaydecideto disposeofanitemtoamuseumoutsidetheUK. Thismaybedoneifitisintheinterestsofthe museumandthewiderpublicbenefit.Unless thereareextenuatingcircumstances,suchas disposalongroundsofrepatriation,transfer toamuseumoutsideoftheUKshouldonly takeplaceafteritemshavebeenofferedto AccreditedmuseumsintheUK.Theremayalso belegalimplicationsofadisposaltoamuseum outsidetheUK(e.g.undercharitylaw)and legaladviceshouldbesought.Inexceptional circumstancesitemsmaybesubjecttoexport deferralbytheSecretaryofState,insuchcases museumsshouldseekspecialistadvice.6 Saleoutsidethepublicdomain Thiscourseofactionmustonlybeundertaken afterithasbeenestablishedthatnomuseum (orotherorganisationwithinthewiderpublic domain)isabletotaketheitem.Museums shouldfirstadvertisetheavailabilityoftheitem ontheMA’sFindanObjectweblistingservice. Itisnotrecommendedasaninitialcourse ofaction. Inallbutthemostexceptionalcircumstancesit isunacceptableforamuseumtoselectitems fordisposalwiththeprincipalaimofgenerating income.Thereisasignificantriskinvolvedin undertakingthiscourseofaction,inparticular tothereputationofindividualmuseumsand thepublictrustinvestedinthesectorasa whole.Thisisnotrecommendedandshould onlybeundertakeninexceptional circumstances,withadditionalsupportand guidancefromtheMAandinconsultationwith sectorbodies.Museumsconsideringthiscourse ofactionshouldfollowthedetailedguidancein Appendix4. Anymoneyraisedasaresultofdisposal throughsaleshouldbeappliedsolelyand directlyforthebenefitofthemuseum’s collection.Moneyraisedshouldbeinvested inthelong-termsustainability,useand developmentofthecollection(forexample,by creatingorincreasinganendowment,making newacquisitionsormakingasignificantcapital investmentwhichwillbringlong-termbenefit totheexistingmuseum). Thingstoconsider: •howwillthedisposaloftheitemhelpto achievethedesiredoutcome? •canadequatecarebeprovidedfortheitem? •willthepublichaveanyaccesstotheitem? •areconditionsgoingtobeplacedonanysale? Forexample,iftherecipientnolonger requirestheitem,shoulditbeofferedback tothemuseuminthefirstinstance? •whatwilltheproceedsbespenton? •publicreactionandconsequencesof negativepublicity. Stepstotake: •identifyandinformpotentialorganisations orindividuals •selectamethodofsale •ifappropriate,onceanewrecipientis identifiedagreetermsandconditionsofsale (suchasanypotentialfuturecontactoraccess totheitem,anyrequirementsshouldthe buyernolongerrequiretheitem) •ensuretransferoflegaltitletonewrecipient •ensuretransparencyand communicatetheprocess •documenttheitemandtheprocess. Whattodoifmethodisunsuccessful •revisitthedecisiontodisposeoftheitem •considerwhetherthedesiredoutcome couldbeachievedthroughanothermethod ofdisposal. Recyclingofitem Ifanewlocationcannotbefoundandother methodsarenotappropriate,amuseummay considerrecyclinganitemthroughsaleas scraporasagifttoacharity. Thingstoconsider: •howwillthiscourseofactionachieveany desiredoutcome? •isanypotentialfinancialvaluebeingrealised? •publicreactiontothedecision. Stepstotake: •selectthemethodofrecycling;ifnecessary seekexpertadvice •ensuremethodofrecyclingdoesnotposea risktostafforthepublic •ensuretransferoflegaltitletoreceivingbody •ensuretransparencyandcommunicate theprocess •documenttheitemandtheprocess. Destructionofitem Thedestructionofitemsshouldonlytakeplace ifanitemposesarisktothehealthandsafety ofindividualsorthecollection. Thingstoconsider: •howwouldthedestructionoftheitemhelp toachievethedesiredoutcome? •healthandsafety:doesthemuseumhave theexpertisetodestroytheitemsafelyor isanotheragencybetterabletoundertake thiscourseofaction? •publicreactiontothedecision. Stepstotake: •selectthemethodofdestruction;ifnecessary seekexpertadvice(forexample,fromthe HealthandSafetyExecutive) •ensuremethodofdestructiondoes notposearisktostafforthepublic •ensurethatdestructiontakesplace •documenttheitemandtheprocess. 19 disposaltoolkit Methodsof disposal Footnote 6.Formoreinformationaboutexportcontrols seewww.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/ supporting-museums/cultural-property/ export-controls/reviewing-committee/
  • 20. 20 disposaltoolkit Methodsof disposal Methodsofsale Whenidentifyingamethodofsaleitis importanttoconsidertherequirementfor opennessandtransparencyandtheneed toavoidanyconflictsofinterest.Toensure transparencyitisrecommendedthatwhere appropriate,museumssellitemsatpublic auction.Museumstaffandmembersofthe governingbodymustnotbeallowedto purchaseitemsbeingdisposedofbytheir museum.Itisalsobestpracticethatmuseum staffdonotacquirematerialfromother museums.ForfurtheradviceseeAppendix4. Directsaletomuseum/publicinstitution Museumsshouldseekaspecialistindependent valuation.Itisrecommendedthatthe purchasersalsoobtaintheirownindependent valuation.Amuseummaydecidetosellat belowthemarketvaluetoensureacquisition byanothermuseum. Saleontheopenmarket Ifitemsarenotbeingsolddirectlytoa museumorbodywithinthepublicdomainit isrecommendedthattheyaresoldatpublic auction.Thisensuresthatthereisopenness andtransparency.Considerationshouldbe giventothetimingofthesale,itslocation andchoiceofauctioneer. Saleonline Museumsmayconsidersellingitemsthrough anonlineauction. Saletoaprivateindividual Museumsmustconsidertheneedfor transparencyandopenness;saletoaprivate individual(inthefirstinstance)maytherefore notbeappropriate.Howevertheremaybe circumstances,forexamplewhenaprivate individualiswillingtoacceptconditionsofsale suchasprovidingpublicaccessandagreeingto loantomuseums,whensaletoanindividual maybeappropriate.Carefulconsideration shouldbegiventothiscourseofaction. Useofproceedsfromdisposal: Ifmoneyisgeneratedthroughthedisposalof anitem,itshouldbeappliedsolelyanddirectly forthebenefitofthemuseum’scollection. Anymoneyraisedmustberestrictedtothe long-termsustainability,useanddevelopment ofthecollection.Fundsmustnotbeusedasa sourceofrevenue.Theuseofmoneywillbe monitoredthroughtheAccreditationScheme. Ifindoubtabouttheproposeduseofsuch restrictedfundsconsulttheMAorother sectorbodies. Museumsmust considertheneed fortransparency andopenness.
  • 21. 21 disposaltoolkit 5R ecordingthe process
  • 22. 22 disposaltoolkit Recordingthe process Itisimportantthatall aspectsofthedisposal processaredocumented; thisshouldbedoneto SPECTRUMstandards. Anyrecordsshouldinclude: •reasonsfordisposal •desiredoutcome •opinionsandadviceconsidered •methodofdisposal •conclusionofprocess:retention,transfer, saleetc. •anyconditionsattached •informationrelatingtotheitemand photographs •documentationrelatingtotransferoftitle •noteofanynewlocation.
  • 23. 23 disposaltoolkit 6D ealing with prob lems
  • 24. Lackofdocumentation relatingtoanitem Alackofcomprehensivedocumentationshould notautomaticallypromptanitem’sdisposal,but neithershoulditdiscountanitemfrombeing considered.Insuchcases,museumsshould makereasonableattemptstoresearchan item’shistoryandthenweighuptheriskof removingtheitemfromthecollectionwithany potentialbenefitthatmayresultfromthis courseofaction.Articulatingthedesired outcomewillassistindoingthis. Anyriskassessmentmustconsiderthe possibilitythatthemuseumdoesnothavelegal titletotheiteminquestion.Ifthisisthecase andthemuseumproceedswiththedisposal, anynewrecipientmustbeinformed. (SeeCollectionsTrustfactsheet:Disposing ofobjectsyoumaynotown) Unabletofindanysuitable newlocationfortheitem? Thereisastrongpossibilitythatyoumaynot beabletofindanothermuseumorbodyinthe widerpublicdomainabletotakematerialyou wishtodisposeof.Thismaybeparticularlytrue ofduplicateitemsoritemsthatarecommon tonumerouscollections.Ifthisisthecaseyou maywishtoconsiderthefollowingcourses ofaction: •reconsiderthedecisiontodisposeoftheitem •dependingonthesignificanceoftheitem, considerretainingitandreconsiderpossible alternativeuses •considerwhetherthedesiredoutcomecould beachievedthroughanothermethodof disposal •consideralternativeoptions(bearinginmind theproposedoutcome) -long-termloans -sale(atauction) -recycling -destruction -retentionofitem. 24 disposaltoolkit Dealingwith problems Conflictsofinterest Asinotherareasofmuseumwork,thereis potentialforconflictsofinterestanditis importantthattheyareavoidedtoprotect thereputationofmuseumsandtheir workforce.Ensuretransparencyand documenttheprocess. Conflictscanbeavoidedwhen: •theworkforce,membersofthegoverning bodyorthosecloselyassociatedwiththe museumareinvitedtoexpressaconflict ofinterest •theworkforce,membersofthegoverning bodyorthosecloselyassociatedwiththe museumdonotreceivedirectbenefit, financialorother,fromadecisiontodispose •theworkforce,membersofthegoverning bodyorthosecloselyassociatedwiththe museumarenotgiven,orallowedtopurchase, itemsbeingdisposedof.
  • 25. 25 disposaltoolkit 7C ommunicating the process
  • 26. 26 disposaltoolkit Communicating theprocess Aswithallareasofmuseum practiceitisimportant thatmuseumsensure transparencyandopenness withthepublic,their colleaguesandstakeholders. Itisimportanttokeepthepublicinformed ofplansrelatingtothedisposalofitems throughpressandmedia.Goodproactive communicationcandomuchtoincrease thepublic’sunderstandingandawareness ofthisareaofmuseumpractice. Museumsshouldadoptanopenandhonest approachthatexplainsthecontextand potentialbenefitoftheplannedcourseof action.Itisimportanttosetoutpubliclythe museum’soverallpolicyondisposalagainst whichindividualcasescanbeexplained. Thelevel,approachandtimingofany communicationwilldependonthenatureof theitemsbeingdisposedof.Whenconsidering communication,beclearaboutitspurpose. Isittoprovideinformation,engagepeople inconsultationorseekviews? Thewholeworkforce,includingthosenot directlyinvolvedinthedisposalprocess, shouldbeinformedaboutpotentialdisposals, thereasonsbehindanydecisionsandany proposedcourseofaction.Thiswillhelpto ensurethattheprocessiscommunicated accuratelytothoseoutsidethemuseum. Museumsshouldalsoconsiderways ofcommunicatinginformationtokey stakeholderssuchasFriendsofthe museumandregularvisitors.Thiscould includebriefingspostedonmuseum websitesandinnewsletters. Goodproactive communication candomuchto increasethepublic’s understanding andawareness ofthisareaof museumpractice.
  • 27. 27 disposaltoolkit AccreditationAssessing Organisation:anorganisationthat assessesmuseumsforAccreditation. InEngland,IsleofManandChannel IslandsthisisdonebyArtsCouncil England,inWalesbyCyMAL: MuseumsArchivesandLibraries Wales(adivisionoftheWelsh Government),inScotlandby MuseumsGalleriesScotland,andin NorthernIrelandbyNorthernIreland MuseumsCouncil Accreditedmuseum:amuseum thatmeetstherequirementsof theAccreditationScheme. Collectionsdevelopmentpolicy: (previouslynamedtheacquisition anddisposalpolicy)arequirement ofAccreditation.Itsetsoutthe principlesthatmuseumsshoulduse withinaframeworkforresponsible andethicalacquisitionanddisposal ofitems.Thepolicyappliesto materialownedandaccessioned intothecollectionandanyfuture plansforcollecting. Compliancereport:(onlyrelevant tomuseumsconsideringafinancially motivateddisposal).Thisreport shouldbesubmittedtotheMAand theAAOsettingouthowamuseum’s proposedfinanciallymotivated disposalmeetstherequirementsof theCodeofEthicsandAccreditation. Thisreportwilldrawoninformation collectedaspartofputtingtogether theprocessreviewreport. Corecollection:collectionsthat arerelevanttothepurposeofthe museumarecore.Inmanycasesthe museum’sentirecollectionsmay becore.Definingamuseum’score collectionshouldtakeinto consideration: •thestatementofpurposeofthe museumandthethemesand prioritiesforfuturecollecting anddisposal •thehistoriclegacyofcollecting. Curatoriallymotivateddisposal: thisisundertakenaspartofthe overallprocessofresponsible collectionsmanagement. Disposal:thepermanentremoval ofanitemfromamuseumcollection. FinalReport:(onlyrelevantto museumsconsideringfinancially motivateddisposal)Onceafinancially motivatedsalehastakenplacea museummustprovidetheMAand relevantAAOwithafinalreport detailingthemethodofsale,thesale priceanddetailsofhowmoneyraised fromthesalewillbeallocated. Financiallymotivateddisposal: saleofcollectionswhereaprimary reasonfordisposalistoraisefunds. Firstcontactform:(onlyrelevant tomuseumsconsideringafinancially motivateddisposal).Thisdocument shouldbecompletedandsubmitted totheMAandAAOsatthestartof theprocess,onceanin-principle decisiontodisposethroughsale hasbeenagreedbyamuseum’s governingbody.Theinformation containedinthisreportwillallow thetwoorganisationstomakea judgementonwhetherthesaleis: a)curatoriallymotivated,andmeets therequirementsoftheCodeof EthicsandAccreditationandthe salecanproceed;orb)financially motivatedandwillrequirethe museumtoundertakefurther actionsbeforeadecisioninrelation tothecompliancewiththeCodeof EthicsorAccreditationcanbemade. Governingbody:thisisthe organisationwhichnormallyowns thecollections.Ifanotherlegally separateorganisationorauthorised individualhasbeengivenpowersto acquireand/ordisposeofcollections onbehalfofthegoverningbody, thismustbemadeclear. Handlingcollection:itemsthatare usedforeducationpurposesandare suitabletobehandledbythepublic. Theseitemsmayoftenbeduplicates orreplicas. Processreviewreport:(only relevanttomuseumsconsideringa financiallymotivateddisposal).This reportshouldcontainallthekey information,evidenceanddecision- makingthatrelatetoaproposed financiallymotivatedsalefroma museumcollection.Thisdocument shouldbeusedfromthestartofthe processofconsideringafinancially motivateddisposalandshouldbe continuallyupdatedthroughout theprocessaskeydecisionsare made,researchisundertaken,and adviceandviewsaresought.The informationcollectedaspartofthe processreviewreportwillinform thecompliancereport. Publicandsociety:theword‘public’ isusedintheCodeofEthicsintwo sensesthatinterconnect.Theideaof societyhavingalegitimateinterest inmuseumsandtheiractivitiesisan underpinningvalueofthecode.Itis reflectedintheuseoftheword ‘public’intermssuchaspublic domain,publicservice,publictrust andpublicinterest.Thewordpublicis alsousedtocharacterisethosewho areusersofthemuseum.(Taken fromtheMACodeofEthicsfor Museums) Publicbenefit:anybenefitderived fromanactivitythatisavailableto thepublic,orasufficientsectionof thepublic,andnotforthebenefitof theindividual. Publicdomain:initsbroadestsense, andinrelationtotheremovaland relocatingofmuseumobjects,the publicdomainisintendedtoreferto alocationwherereasonablepublic accesscanbeachieved.Thisislikely torefertopublicsectororpublicly- fundedbodiesorthosewith charitablestatusthatholditems intrustforthepublicandnotas privateproperty. Setdressing:itemsthatarenotpart oftheaccessionedcollection,but areownedandusedbyamuseumto enhanceexhibitionsanddisplaysor forillustrativepurposes. Sleeper:anitemonsale(usuallyat auction)thatisanimportantworkof artorasignificantobjectbuthasnot beenrecognisedassuch. Users:individualsandgroupswith whomtheindividualmuseumis activelyengaged,tomutualbenefit. Thatsenseofthepublicservedby amuseumwillbereflectedinthe individualmuseum’smissionand aims,whichshoulddefineitstarget audiences.Theymayincludepast, currentandpotentialusersofthe servicesprovidedbythemuseum. (TakenfromtheMACodeofEthics forMuseums) Workforce:anypersonworkingfor amuseum,eitherasapaidemployee oravolunteer. Glossary
  • 28. 28 disposaltoolkit Resources AccreditationStandard TheAccreditationSchemesets nationallyagreedstandardsfor museumsintheUK.Thereare currentlyjustunder1,800museums participatinginthescheme, demonstratingtheircommitmentto managingcollectionseffectivelyfor theenjoymentandbenefitofusers. Thestandardisavailableonlineat: www.artscouncil.org.uk Collectionsdevelopmentpolicy Thecollectionsdevelopmentpolicy (previouslyknownasanacquisition anddisposalpolicy)setsoutthe principlesthatmuseumsshoulduse withinaframeworkforresponsible andethicalacquisitionanddisposal ofcollections.Itisarequirementof theAccreditationScheme. CodeofEthicsforMuseums DevelopedbytheMAEthics CommitteeandvotedforbyMA members,theCodeofEthicsdefines currentconsensusovertheprinciples thatguidemuseumpractice.Itis availableonlineat: www.museumsassociation.org/ ethics/code-of-ethics MAadviceonsale TheMAhaspublishedselected adviceonproposalsforfinancially motivateddisposal.Itisavailable onlineat: www.museumsassociation.org/ collections/sale-of-collections MAEthicalGuidanceon Acquisitions TheMAhaspublishedguidance ontheethicsandpracticalitiesof acquisition.Itisavailableonlineat: www.museumsassociation.org/ download?id=11114 CollectionsTrustfactsheet: Disposingofobjectsyoumay notown TheCollectionsTrusthasproduced afactsheetthatprovidesadviceand guidanceondisposingofobjectsthat museummaynotown.Itisavailable onlineat: www.collectionslink.org.uk/discover/ manage-information/610-disposing- of-objects-you-may-not-own HMGovernmentCodeofPractice onConsultation Thecodethatsetsoutwhatpeople canexpectfromthegovernment whenitrunsformal,written consultationexercisesonmatters ofpolicyorpolicyimplementation. Itisavailableonlineat: www.berr.gov.uk/files/file47158.pdf GoodGovernance:ACodeforthe VoluntaryandCommunitySector Thecodewascreatedbythe AssociationofChiefExecutive Officers(ACEVO),CharityTrustee Networks(CTN),theInstituteof CharteredSecretariesand Administrators(ICSA)andthe NationalCouncilforVoluntary Organisations(NCVO).Itisavailable onlineat: www.charity-commission.gov.uk/ Charity_requirements_guidance/ Charity_governance/Good_ governance/governancecode.aspx SPECTRUM:theUKMuseum CollectionsManagement Standard TheSPECTRUMstandardis usedbymuseumstoimprovethe management,sustainabilityanduse oftheircollections.Itisavailable onlineat: www.collectionslink.org.uk/ programmes/spectrum Relatedorganisations Accreditation Assessing Organisations(AAOs): ArtsCouncilEngland www.artscouncil.org.uk CyMAL:Museums,Archives andLibrariesWales,adivision oftheWelshGovernment www.cymal.wales.gov.uk MuseumsGalleriesScotland www.museumsgalleriesscotland. org.uk NorthernIrelandMuseums Council www.nimc.co.uk Otherrelevant organisations CharityCommission www.charitycommission.gov.uk CollectionsTrust www.collectionstrust.org.uk MuseumsAssociation www.museumsassociation.org OfficeofScottishCharity Regulator www.oscr.org.uk Appendix1
  • 29. 29 disposaltoolkit AdditionalGuidancefromtheCharityCommission Museumsthatare charitiesand charitableexhibits andcollections 1.Museumsandgalleriesthat arecharities: Therearemuseumsandartgalleries thatarecharitiesandholdoneor moreexhibitsandcollections.The mainpurposesforwhichtheyhold theirpropertywillbethepromotion ofartand/ortheadvancementof education.Forguidanceonwhether thepurposesofamuseumare charitable,see: www.charitycommission.gov.uk/ media/95113/rr10text.pdf Ineachcasethecharitytrustees needtoknowandfollowthetrusts, directionsandconditionssubject towhichtheyholdthecollection orexhibit.Charitytrusteeshave overridingdutiestoactreasonably andintheinterestsofthecharity; seetheCharityCommission’s guidance:TheEssentialTrustee: www.charitycommission.gov.uk/ Publications/cc3.aspx 2.Museumsandgalleriesthat arenotcharities: Museumsandartgalleriesmay belongtootherbodiesthatare notcharities,e.g.localauthorities. However,suchinstitutionsoften holdcharitableexhibitsand collectionsthathavebeenacquired inthepastwiththeintentionthat theybeheldseparatelyontrustfor thecharitablepurposeofpromoting artoradvancingeducation. 3.Collection-holdingcharities thatarenotmuseumsorgalleries: Therearecharities,havingother objectsthanthepromotionofart, whichholdsignificantworksofart. Examplesincludehospitalsand collegesofeducation.These charitieswillonlybeabletofollow thetoolkitinalimitedwayunlessthe worksareheldonaspecialtrustfor thepromotionofart,becausethe worksareheldtofurthertheobjects ofthehospital,collegeorother non-artcharity,asthecasemaybe. 4.Restrictionsondisposal: Iftheexhibitorcollectioninquestion hasbeengiveninperpetuityand thereisnopowertodispose,the charitytrusteeswillneedtotake advicefromtheCharityCommission; thecommissionwillenablethemto disposeofthework(s)ifthiswouldbe intheinterestsofthecharity.Orthe trusteesmaywanttolendanexhibit orcollectiontoanotherbodyfor publicdisplaybut,withoutauthority fromthecourtorthecommission, theycannotifthereisaprohibitionin thetrusts.Ifthereisnothingtostop themlending,thecharitytrustees maydosoiftheyarefurtheringthe objectsofthecharity. 5.Giftsofexhibitsandcollectionsare oftengivenontermsthattheyareto beheldpermanently,butnotalways. Insomecasesthecharitytrustees havenoexpresspowerofdisposal andinotherstheyhave.Wherethere isnoexpresspowerofdisposalthe charitytrusteesshouldseekadvice. Wherecharitytrusteesdisposeof exhibitsandcollections,theymust dealwiththeproceedsasdirectedin thetrusts;suchdirectionswillusually betoreplaceitemsorinvestand spendtheincomeonly,butmay includethepowertospendthe proceedsonconservationandrepair oftheremainingexhibitsand collections. 6.Returnofitemstodonors: Wheretheyhaveacceptedan unconditionalgift,charitytrustees cannotreturnitemstodonorsunless thisisinthecharity’sinterests.If thereisastrongmoralobligation andtheitemhasalowculturalvalue, thetrusteesshouldasktheCharity Commissionforadvice. 7.Saleatlessthanmarketprice Charitytrusteesmustcomplywith charitylawandotherlawsthatapply totheircharity.Subjecttothese trusts,powersandduties,trustees havediscretion: •toacceptorrefuseadonation (ofmoneyorproperty) •todisposeofpropertythatisno longerrequiredforthepurposes ofthecharity: -atfullvalue,or -atlessthanfullvalueifthis furthersthecharity’spurposes orisotherwiseinitsinterests. 8. Governanceissues Ifacharitytrusteeorapersonor organisationconnectedwiththem wishedtoacquireitemondisposalfor thebenefitofanotherorganisation, thecommissionwouldexpectthe othertrusteestoensurethatthe bestreturnreasonablyobtainable fortheircharitywassecured.Atthe least,theacquiringtrusteeshould beexcludedfromtheirdiscussions, decision-makingandallother actiontakentomanagetheconflict ofinterest. 9. Returnofcollections Withregardtothereturnof culturalpropertyorotherexhibits orcollectionsbelongingtoa charityraisingissuesofrestitution, repatriationorspoliation,theCharity Commissionsetoutitsviewsina memorandumtoParliament’sSelect CommitteeonCulture,Mediaand SportinApril2000andacopyof thiscanbefoundonlineat: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ cm199900/cmselect/ cmcumeds/371/371ap50.htm Muchofthisadviceisbasedupon guidanceprovidedbytheCharity Commissionin2008.Advicemay changeovertimeandconsequently itisadvisabletorefertothe commission’swebsite: www.charitycommission.gov.uk Appendix2
  • 30. 30 disposaltoolkit Sixprinciplesofgood governanceassetout inGoodGovernance:A CodefortheVoluntary andCommunity Sector.7 Themembersofthegoverning bodyareexpectedto: •understandtheirrole,theirlegal duties,andtheirresponsibilities asstewardsofculturalitems •ensurethatthepurposesofthe museumarecarriedoutandthat themuseumactsinthelong-term publicinterest •workeffectivelybothasindividuals andasateam •exerciseeffectivecontrolsothat legalandethicalrequirementsare compliedwith •behavewithintegrity,maintaining independenceindecision-making, andidentifyingandmanagingany conflictsofinterest •beopenandaccountable:members mustpromoteandprotectthe reputationofthemuseumand mustengageinaconsultation processwithstakeholders, reflectingupontheinformation andadvicereceived. Inadditiontodisclosinganyconflicts ofinterest,themembersofthe governingbodymusttakecarein relationtodecision-making:they mustauthoriseaconsultation processwithstakeholders,andmust reflectupontheinformationand advicereceivedinrelationtoa prospectivesale. Appendix3 Footnotes 7GoodGovernance: ACodefortheVoluntaryand CommunitySector ThecodewascreatedbytheAssociation ofChiefExecutiveOfficers(ACEVO),Charity TrusteeNetworks(CTN),theInstituteof CharteredSecretariesandAdministrators (ICSA)andtheNationalCouncilforVoluntary Organisations(NCVO).Itisavailableonlineat: www.governancecode.org/
  • 31. 31 disposaltoolkit Initialsteps: •determinethedesirabilityof undertakingafullreviewofthe collection •developaprojectplanandallocate resourcestomanagetheprocess •createanassessmentframework toassistinevaluatingitemswithin thecollectionandtheirsubsequent suitabilityfordisposal •securethegoverningbody’s agreementtothepotentialdisposal ofitems •ensurecollectiondocumentation isascompleteaspossible. Makingthedecision todispose: •makedecisionstodisposeaspartof anoverallcollectionsmanagement strategyandinlightofacollections developmentpolicy,preferablyas partofareviewofthecollection •articulatethedesiredoutcomeof thedisposal •articulatethecuratorialreasons behindtheproposeddisposalwith referencetoyourcollections developmentpolicy •seekspecialistadviceifnecessary •considertheviewsofdonorsand stakeholders •considerthepublicreaction,and developacommunicationsstrategy •establishwhethertheitemwas purchasedorconservedwiththe aidofexternalfundingbodies;ifso, seekviewsfromappropriatebodies •ensurethemuseumislegallyable toremovetheitem •recommendamethodofdisposal thatislikelytoachievethedesired outcome. Thingsto consider: •whatisthedesiredoutcome? •ifsuccessful,howwillthemethod ofdisposalhelptoachievethe desiredoutcome? •whatarethebenefitsofthiscourse ofaction:tothecare,useand contextoftheitem;tothemuseum anditscollection;tothebroader museumcommunity;andto people’suseandenjoymentof museumcollections? •whatisthepotentialforincreased useoftheitemthroughthe proposedcourseofaction?(There maybenoneinthecaseofitems beingrecycledordestroyed) •istheproposedrecipientableto provideadequatecareand opportunitiesforaccess? •whatmightthepublicreactionbe totheproposedcourseofaction? •whatarethepotentialrisksin theproposedcourseofaction? Oncethedecisionhas beenmade: •identifypotentialAccredited museumrecipients,approach directly •placeanoticeontheMA’sFindan Objectweblistingservice,in MuseumsJournalandother specialistpublicationsand websites.Allowatleasttwo monthsforaresponse •ifappropriate,informthedonor •ifanewlocationcanbefound, agreetermsandconditionsof transfer(orsale) •ensuretransparencyand communicatethedisposalto thepublic •ensuretransferoflegaltitleto therecipient •documenttheprocess. Whattodoifattempt todisposeis unsuccessful: •reconsiderthedecisiontodispose •considerpossiblealternativeuses withinthemuseumfortheobject(s) •considerwhetherthedesired outcomecouldbeachievedthrough anothermethodofdisposal (transfertowiderpublicdomain/ outsidepublicdomain) •consideralternativeoptions (bearinginmindproposed outcome): -long-termloan -sale(atpublicauction) -recycling -destruction -retentionofitem. Checklistforalldisposals: