Acquisition Policy

The Museum will permanently acquire artifacts through purchase, donations, bequests and exchanges with other institutions if:

They are relevant to, and consistent with the mandate and activities of the museum;

Prior careful consideration has been given to the long-term implications of acquiring the material(s);

The human and material resources are available to adequately document, display, protect and preserve the objects under the conditions that ensure their availability for museum purposes and in keeping with professionally accepted standards;

The museum can be reasonably assured that the object(s) have not been collected under circumstances considered to be exploitation, unethical, illegal, or otherwise incompatible with professional standards;

The acquisition is in accordance with the laws of Ontario, other provinces, Canada and international agreements between Canada and other countries (e.g. The Ontario Heritage Act, the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, The U.N.E.S.O. Convention of 1970, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species);

The objects are received free and clear of restricting conditions as to use and future disposition, unless otherwise agreed in special circumstances (e.g. bequest) at a meeting of the governing authority of the museum. Where conditions are attached to an acquisition, every effort will be made to place a reasonable date on the time for which they shall be used. (N.B. Mandatory conditions must be observed unless deviation is authorized by a competent court of jurisdiction as agreed upon in writing by both parties;

The objects are well documented or where it can be reasonably ascertained that subsequent systematic research will establish their worth for the collection;

The Museum will only acquire objects (excepting loans) with a view to permanency in the collection and not with the intent of trading, selling or disposal;

In collecting areas, where objects in the permanent collections are fully representative of the museum's collecting intent, it will only acquire small objects if they are of a higher quality (which may not, necessarily, be in the aesthetic sense), or of significance for reasons of comparison. Careful consideration will be given to the use of material that may have become second choice, e.g. cancellation of a loan, storage, addition to the study collection, or exchanged with or loaned to another museum;

Prior to every acquisition, the Museum will make every reasonable effort to ascertain that the provenance of an object is above suspicion (e.g. rightfully owned by an individual, organization, or institution) and that the museum can, therefore, rightfully assume legal and valid title to or custody for an object;

Donors who require tax receipts for tax deduction purposes must provide an appraisal from a qualified source. The Museum may assist a donor to find a qualified appraiser, but will not provide appraisals for any reason;

All acquisitions involving transfer of ownership must be accompanied by appropriate legal documentation;

Upon receiving a legitimate request, the museum will make public the identity and description of the objects in its collections; and

The Collections Committee will be kept informed of all acquisitions and will assist the Curator/Collections Manager in determining the suitability of artifacts offered to the Museum.