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Collection Management Policy

pdf iconCollections Management Policy : Collections Management Policy(PDF, 90.8 KB)

Collections Management Policy

I.          Scope of collections
CAS will serve as a repository for archaeological records and collections generated from in-house projects as well as non-CAS collections. CAS is especially interested in collections from projects in and around Hays County that are consistent with the regional and thematic areas already exemplified by our collections, such as the history and prehistory of central Texas.
II.        Acquisition
A. As CAS was originally established to curate collections generated from in-house projects, its most common form of acquisition is through field research. CAS will also consider accepting outside collections on a restricted individual basis, based on the project’s regional and thematic relevance and the ability of CAS to care for the collection.
B. Only collections that possess clear title or held-in-trust status will be accepted. CAS acquisition of state associated held-in-trust collections is granted by the Texas Historic Commission, who transfers stewardship but not title of the collection to CAS. 
C. Restrictive or conditional acquisitions are discouraged. 
D. Only the director of CAS has the ability to approve acquisitions.
E. Acquisition is a necessary prerequisite for accessioning.
F. Acquisitions are documented with a Deed of Gift or Letter of Transfer/Ownership.
G. An annual report of acquisitions activities is made to the THC regarding all state held-in-trust collections.
III.       Legal title
A. The transfer of non-state held-in-trust collections by gift/donation from a donor to CAS is documented with a Letter of Transfer/Ownership, Deed of Gift, or Governmental Agency Curation Agreement, which is signed by the donor and a CAS official and documents the objects/collections/documents and copyright restrictions or conveyance for which the title is being transferred. A Deed of Gift is executed between CAS and an individual, while a Letter of Transfer/Ownership documents the exchange between CAS and an agency/institution. The Government Agency Curation Agreement more specifically documents the exchange between CAS and a governmental agency.
B. Held-In-Trust Agreements and Artifact Curation Forms are written, signed and executed between CAS and the THC to document the transfer of stewardship of state held-in-trust objects/collections/documents.
C. The transfer of stewardship of state held-in-trust collections from CAS to another curatorial facility is documented with a Letter of Transfer/Deaccession, which states the agency/institution and objects/collections/documents which are being transferred and is signed by both curatorial facilities and a THC official.
IV.       Accessioning
A. CAS uses an accessioning system that allows for objects and records to be matched to the Transfer Inventory/Accession Record and number, to be located physically, to be associated with other objects in the accession, and be cross-referenced.
B. The accessioning of non-held-in-trust collections into the holdings of CAS is accompanied by a Deed of Gift, Letter of Transfer/Ownership, or Governmental Agency Curation Agreement.
C. The accessioning of held-in-trust collections into the holdings of CAS is accompanied by: 1) a Deed of Gift, Letter of Transfer/Ownership, or Governmental Agency Curation Agreement and 2) a signed Held-In-Trust Agreement and Artifact Curation Form.
D. An accessions inventory is made at the time of accessioning through the completion of the Transfer Inventory/Accession Record form.
E. An annual report of accessioning activities is provided to the THC regarding all state held-in-trust collections.
V.        Deaccession and disposal
A. Deaccessions are evaluated in terms of redundancy and lack of additional merit. CAS will consider deaccessioning items or collections for the following reasons:
1. They do not fall within CAS’s regional or thematic interests.
2. They do not contribute additional historical or scientific value.
3. Another repository requests the collection because it better fits with their research interests or is associated with or related to another collection which they hold.
4. Legal title is questionable, or there are ethical concerns.
5. They are subject to deaccessioning as required by federal law.
6. They are lost, stolen or damaged beyond reasonable use/repair.
B. Disposal methods:
1. CAS employs landfill disposal of held-in-trust and non-held-in-trust objects/collections.
2. CAS will seek THC approval before disposing of any held-in-trust objects/collections.
3. CAS does not employ the method of sale for non-held-in-trust or held-in-trust collections.
C. Reporting
1. The transfer of any CAS collection to another repository is documented with a Letter of Transfer/Deaccession form.
2. All deaccessioning activities of state held-in-trust items are reported to the THC in an annual report.
VI.       Cataloging
A. CAS employs a cataloging system to record the physical attributes of the artifacts and make the objects more easily identifiable and accessible. 
B. CAS has predominately utilized a provenience-based cataloging system. This system is designed to identify objects and their provenience. The catalog number series is applied to the object and is listed on the artifact inventory.
C. All artifacts are cataloged before their permanent housing or a loan is allowed.
VII.     Loans
A. CAS accepts incoming and outgoing loans in order to further our mission of research, public education and outreach. The following are requirements for loans of non-state and state held-in-trust collections:
            1. Only the director of CAS has the authority to accept or grant a loan.
2. Loans may be granted for the purpose of research, education, exhibition, conservation and/or inspection.
3. Outgoing loan requests will be granted only to institutions affiliated with a research or public education, while incoming loans may be accepted from institution or individuals.
4. Loans are not to be used for commercial purposes.
5. Collections that are not accessioned/cataloged are not loaned
6. The director will make the final decision regarding the loan period. Loans will be granted temporarily for a negotiated specific amount of time. Loan renewals are granted at the discretion of the director. Materials on extended loan may be recalled by the director.
7. Costs associated with the transfer of the loaned material are to be paid by the borrowing institution.
8. Loaned materials must be covered under the borrowing institutions insurance.
9. A loan agreement documents the loan number and inventory, purpose of loan, start and due date, method of shipment, insurance value of loan, any special conditions of the loan, and the approval signatures of the CAS director and borrowing agent.
10. A borrower requesting a destructive loan, which entails destroying all or a portion of an object or sample to gain specialized information, must supply a proposal, which details the researcher’s goals, methodologies and a project budget.
11. Decisions regarding the destructive analysis of state held-in-trust collections are the legal responsibility of the THC. Authority to approve destructive analysis requests is delegated to CAS through an agreement between CAS and the THC.
12. Two copies of any publication resulting from the research, as well as any information or data gained from destructive analysis, is provided to CAS.
13. Unused portions of objects/samples are returned to CAS.
14. For state associated items, the state does not relinquish title of the object, nor is the item deaccessioned. Information gained from the destructive analysis substitutes for the altered/destroyed object/sample.
15. An annual report of loan activities of state held-in-trust collections will be made by CAS to the THC.
VIII.    Inventory
A. CAS maintains project specific and general collection inventories in order to document the contents and locations of non-held-in-trust and held-in-trust collections.
B. An accessions inventory is created with the completion of the Transfer Inventory/Accession Record form during the accession process.
C. Artifact inventories are compiled for each project and include the catalog number series, artifact class and description, artifact count, depth, collection date, and excavator.
D. A general collections inventory is maintained of all CAS collections and their current status (ongoing, complete, etc.).
E. Periodic spot-check inventories are conducted as well as relocation inventories during any relocation activity.
F. A separate inventory is maintained for state held-in-trust collections, and an annual report of inventory activities is provided to the THC.
IX.       Insurance
A. As an entity of Texas State University, CAS is self-insured. Therefore, CAS has applied for a waiver from the CFCP insurance requirement.
X.        Appraisals
A. CAS does not provide appraisals to the general public or prospective donors.
B. Prospective donors requiring an appraisal must do so independently and at their own expense.
XI.       Access to collections
A. Physical access to all CAS collections is restricted to the CAS collections manager/curator and the director.
B. Physical access to the collections by other individuals must be granted by the director and supervised by the director or collections manager/curator.
C. Research access by CAS staff and non-CAS individuals (i.e. visiting scholars/researchers) is dependent upon the research design and is granted by the director.
D. Physical access to the CAS facility is restricted through use of key-controlled entry. Access to CAS collections is monitored by the director and CAS staff.
XII.     Record keeping
A. CAS maintains the following records for state held-in-trust collections:
            1. Held-In-Trust Agreement & Artifact Curation Form
2. A curation agreement - Deed of Gift, Letter of Transfer/Ownership, or Governmental Agency Curation Agreement
            3. Accession record - Transfer Inventory/Accession Record
4. Deaccession record (as necessary) – Letter of Transfer/Deacession
            5. Condition report (as necessary)
            6. Catalog record – Artifact Catalog
            7. Loan agreement (as necessary)
            8. Relocation inventory (as necessary)
            9. Spot-check inventory
            10. Conservation report
            11. Infestation report
            12. A list of state held-in-trust collections housed at CAS
B. CAS provides the THC with an annual report regarding accessioning, deaccessioning and disposals, site inventories, inventory and security issues, incoming and outgoing loans and destructive loans, and conservation actions.
C. All CAS paper records are printed on acid-free archival paper, and electronic versions are maintained when possible.
D. Records are placed in acid-free archival file folders and stored in metal file cabinets.
E. Records are organized as to be easily managed and retrievable.
F. Records are stored in a secure location (the curator’s office area) and are maintained and monitored by the curator.
G. Duplicates of all the records associated with held-in-trust collections, as well as the CAS Collections Master Inventory and the Held-in-Trust Collections Inventory, are maintained at a secure off-site location.
XIII.    Collections care
A. A primary goal of CAS is to promote the long-term curation and preservation of its collections.
B. State held-in-trust collections require regulated and monitored temperature, relative humidity, and atmospheric pollutants, as well as low and/or filtered light levels.
C. The stability of CAS non-state and state held-in-trust collections is maintained through the following measures:
1. the utilization of archival quality material for all laboratory procedures, including the cleaning, stabilizing, restoring, and labeling of artifacts
2. artifact storage in acid-free archival bags or other packaging material, which provide a buffer between the artifacts and the environment
3. housing on archival shelving units, which provide a buffer between the artifacts and the environment
4. safety measures which insure the safe handling and transport of objects/collections
5. preventive conservation strategies and routine maintenance
6. regulated environmental controls accompanied by staff monitoring.
XIV.    Conservation
A. If a state held-in-trust object/document/collection requires further conservation treatment to insure its preservation, CAS requires the following:
1. THC approval of the conservation treatments must be obtained prior to their commencement.
2. Conservation techniques are carried out by trained conservators.
3. Conservation materials and treatments are reversible in nature.
4. Conservation treatments are documented before, during, and after their execution.
5. An annual report is supplied to the THC regarding any conservation treatments applied to state held-in-trust collections.
XV.     Disaster management
A. The following measures are taken to insure the best possible care of non-state and state held-in-trust collections in disaster situations:
1. The prevention of disasters is strived for through preventive maintenance and routine building and system inspections.
2. A written plan of emergency preparedness, based on knowledge of local risks and hazards, is tested and evaluated annually.
3. The emergency preparedness plan includes measures to be taken before, during, and after a disaster.
XVI.    Pest management
A. CAS strives to maintain the exclusion of pests from the facility through the following measures:
            1. monitoring and detection
            2. identification and isolation
            3. habitat modification
4. appropriate pest eradication/suppression treatment using non-or least-toxic solutions
            5. evaluation of success of pest management treatment
            6. continued education of staff on pest control
XVII. Security
A. CAS maintains the security of non-state and state held-in-trust collections through use of alarms and key-controlled/restricted access to the facility.