Collection Management Policy

As owner of The Charlie Morrisey Research Hall collections, The University of New Mexico and the Africana Studies Program is vested with ultimate responsibility for their safety and maintenance. It is the policy of the University that collections shall be managed according to the highest standards and consistent with the ethical principles prescribed by the American Association of Museums (THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF MUSEUMS ETHICS, 1978).

In operating its library and archives, The Charlie Morrisey Research Hall and The University of New Mexico's Africana Studies Program collects, preserves, exhibits, and makes available for study materials of artistic and educational significance and provides related educational services for the purpose of increasing knowledge and enriching the cultural life of the campus and the host community.

  1. The Program Specialist shall be appointed by the CMRH Director. Under delegated authority from the CMRH Director the Program Specialist shall exercise oversight and supervision of the CMRH collections. The Program Specialist shall be operationally responsible for the management and care of all collection objects owned by, on loan, and in the temporary custody of the University. Care of collections includes the documentation, security, physical protection, conservation, storage, access, inventory, and files in accordance with generally accepted CMRH practices. The Director shall advise the Program Specialist on procedures necessary to insure proper management of the collection.
  2. Under direction of the Program Specialist, all appropriate personnel shall be made aware of their basic and continuing responsibility to preserve and protect collection objects on exhibition or in storage. The Program Specialist shall prepare annual collection plans in consultation with other CMRH personnel members for review by the Director. The Program Specialist, with assistance from the CMRH personnel shall develop a collection management procedures manual which shall be updated as required. The collection management procedures manual will include, but not be limited to: 1) donor acceptance letters, check out forms, announcement letters, loan agreements, university policy and collection gift forms.
  1. Collection items-whether works of art, photographs, books, manuscripts, audio, video or musical recordings, documents or artifacts-will be acquired by gift, bequest, purchase, exchange, field work, or any transaction by which title to an object passes to the CMRH. In all cases, acquisitions should meet the basic acquisitions criteria of the University. These assume that the collection items are:
    1. Consistent with the mission and purpose of the University;
    2. Useful in the University 's educational, exhibition, research or interpretation activities;
    3. Received in reasonably good condition so that they may be preserved with as little alteration possible;
    4. Accompanied by verifiable provenance data;
    5. Not restricted by the donor, by trademark, copyright or other limitations;
  2. The CMRH divides its collections by type into:
    1. Permanent Collections: Original, rare, generally irreplaceable items preserved for the future and used only for exhibit purposes.
    2. Study Collections: Reproduced, abundant, replaceable items (photos and documents) that may be used as research, teaching or loan materials.
    3. Functional Collections: Used for in-house (on campus) circulation and loans.
  3. The CMRH also accepts gifts that may not be appropriate for the permanent or study collections and may resold or otherwise disposed of. After notification of and approval by the Director of the CMRH, the acceptance of these gifts shall be in writing by the Program Specialist on a form other than the donor acceptance form.
  4. In consultation with the Director or the Director's designee, the Program Specialist shall determine the appropriateness of an object for the collection and the conditions under which it shall be approved for accessioning (formal inclusion) or de-accessioning (permanent removal).
  5. Under supervision of the Director, the Program Specialist shall manage the collections and recommend all accessions and de-accessions. The Program Specialist shall be the personnel member authorized to accept collection objects into the temporary or permanent custody of the CMRH. All intended gifts shall be acknowledged with a signed receipt. All acquisitions shall be promptly accessioned upon acceptance and receipt.
  1. All donations are considered outright and unconditional gifts to be used at the discretion of the CMRH. In consultation with the Director or the Directors designee, the Program Specialist will indicate whether the donated objects will be accessioned or designated as non-collection gifts at the time of acceptance.
  2. The valuation of gifts remains the donor's responsibility. Neither the CMRH nor its personnel shall appraise or otherwise value objects for donors or prospective donors. The donor's valuation of the gift is, however, part of its provenance and shall be recorded by the CMRH.
  3. Collection materials shall be retained as long as they continue to be relevant to the purposes and activities of the CMRH and they maintain their physical integrity and can be properly stored and preserved. Because the CMRH periodically changes exhibits, no object can be considered for permanent exhibit. Accessioned objects may be exhibited studied, researched, loaned, examined or de-accessioned.
  1. The de-accession process shall be judicious, deliberate, and scrupulous. Objects shall be permanently removed from the collections upon the written recommendation of the Program Specialist with the approval of the Director. In all cases, de-accessions shall meet one or more of the following criteria:
    1. No longer relevant or useful;
    2. Deteriorated beyond repair or consumed in use;
    3. Failed to retain its identity or authenticity;
    4. Beyond the capability of the CMRH to properly preserve;
    5. Duplicated or redundant;
    6. More appropriately placed in another institution's collection.
  2. De-accessioned materials may be offered for exchange, gift or sale to other tax-exempt educational or cultural institutions. De-accessioned objects not disposed of in this manner normally shall be sold at advertised public markets and only in a manner that will protect the interests, objectives and legal status of the institution. Funds received from the sale of de-accessioned objects from the collections shall be used for the care of the collections in or acquisitions for the CMRH. Exceptions to this provision shall require specific authorization from the CMRH Director.
  3. The CMRH and The University of New Mexico do not sanction the sale or gift of de-accessioned objects to its employees, trustees or to their representatives outside the guidelines stated above.
  1. The CMRH may accept short term, temporary loans for specified purposes. Because of the expense of housing, handling, maintaining and insuring loaned materials, the CMRH generally cannot accept indefinite loans. The CMRH shall exercise all reasonable care so that borrowed items are returned in the same condition as received. Loaned objects that the CMRH is unable to return after making all reasonable attempts to do so will be considered abandoned property.
  2. The CMRH lends materials to similar institutions for its normal, public purposes (e.g. research, exhibition, interpretation) but only under conditions that insure proper care, security, and environmental protection of its objects. Materials on loan may not be photographed or reproduced without written permission from the Program Specialist. They must be fully insured for loss or damage during shipment and the entire period in which they will be 1) under the borrowing institutions care and 2) returned promptly and in the same condition as when loaned.
  3. The CMRH lends materials from its study and functional collections within the institution for educational, exhibition, functional or decorative purposes in designated areas under the same conditions as stated above. Loaned materials from The CMRH and collections shall not be used, stored, or displayed under conditions that would place their physical condition at risk.

A complete inventory of the permanent collection shall be made every two years. On an annual basis, the Program Specialist shall examine the collection to determine the status of the record system and the physical condition of objects susceptible to deterioration. The specific steps to be followed for both these processes shall be described in the collections management procedures manual.

  1. The CMRH makes collection materials available for educational purposes through exhibition and its interpretive programs. Special access for scholarly purposes is available by appointment.
  2. Only the Director, the Program Specialist, and personnel members with specifically delegated authority shall have access to the permanent collections, storage areas, and collection records of the CMRH. Others shall not be allowed in the storage areas without prior approval of the Program Specialist or Director and the supervision of an authorized personnel member.
  3. Those wishing to photograph or otherwise duplicate any materials from the collections must receive prior written permission from the Program Specialist. If the item in question is to be photographed for publication or other display, it must be correctly labeled or captioned, crediting The CMRH as the source of the material. In return for such permission, the CMRH may levy a fee at its discretion. All descriptive captions of photographs intended for publication or display shall be previewed and approved in advance by the Program Specialist. A copy of any publication in which The CMRH collections material appears shall be provided to the CMRH without charge.
  4. The CMRH reserves the right to refuse access to or use of its collections.
  1. It is the responsibility of all CMRH personnel members to recognize their responsibilities as guardians of irreplaceable objects.
  2. The CMRH personnel shall refrain from all activities that may be construed as creating a conflict of interest between their professional responsibilities and outside interests. The CMRH Director shall be made aware of any possible conflict and take action as appropriate.