Historical Society Hosts February Lunchbox Lecture Lunchbox Lecture: Mysteries, Mischief, and Mayhem of Murray County 2021 Cemetery Tour – Slide Show Drive Through Comfort Food Fundraiser MCHS Annual Meeting Summer Raffle Fundraiser Winners Second Annual Cemetery Tour Calling all Tree Decorators – Holiday Open House Traveling Exhibit Makes a Stop at the MC Museum Small Grant Awarded for Collections Project 2021 Front Porch Music Series Frank Thayer: An Architect’s Story by Rose Moudry Baseball of Murray County by Bill Bolin Call for Project Bids Dinehart Lecture: Railroads of Murray County Lunchbox Lecture – Murray County in the 1920s PowerPoint Large Grant Awarded for Work on Dinehart Holt House Lunchbox Lecture – Draining the Great Oasis Lunchbox Lecture – Cemetery Tour Slide Show Self-Guided Cemetery Tour Covid-19 Self Interview Take Home History — Free Educational Packets for Children Murray County Historical Society Receives SMAC Grant for 2020 Dinehart Holt House Front Porch Music Series Murray County Historical Museum “Doing Our Bit” Murray County Historical Museum has another great year! Lunchbox Lecture – Nov. 14 Walt Benton and his Music Preservation Tips: LUNCHBOX LECTURES – SEASON SIX VOLUNTEERS NEEDED International Holiday Traditions 2019 Annual Meeting Glensheen: The Musical Mnopedia Story – Sweetman Catholic Colony 2018 Fundraiser A Tale of Twenty Typewriters: The Process of Deaccession Become A Member Dinehart Holt House Historic Structure Report Mnopedia Story – Chandler-Lake Wilson Tornado (1992) Mnopedia Story – Murray County Mnopedia Story – Minnesota’s First Female Sheriff – from Murray County Mnopedia Story – Murray County Fair Legacy grant helps Museum hire a writer for MNopedia Articles New in the Collection Legacy grant helps Museum Purchase a new Microfilm Reader Keeping the Collections: Deaccessioning Textile Inventory Project Waning Years of the 1891 Murray County Courthouse Brought to Light

Keeping the Collections: Deaccessioning

In the last few issues we have discussed our collections policy, how we bring new items into the collection and how we try to preserve them the best way we can once they are donated. But what about items that do not belong  in the collections or items that have deteriorated to the point they can no longer be preserved?   Our collections policy addresses that.

Museums have a process for thinning out the collection, its called deaccessioning and it is as big a process as brining an item into the collection. The first thing a museum will do is try to determine whether an item should remain in the collection by asking a few questions.

  • Was this item ever officially accessioned and is there paper work or a clear title to the item?
  • Is this item out of the scope of our collection policy?
  • Is this item a duplication of items in the collection?
  • Has this item deteriorated beyond our ability to preserve it?
  • Does this item pose a physical threat /danger to the rest of the collection or the museum staff who work here?

If the answer is yes to any of the last three questions then the item may be eligible for deaccession.

Once it is determined that the item should be taken out of the collection one of three things can be done with it. First  and foremost, every effort is made to return the item to the donor or donor’s family.

  1. It can be transferred to an education collection where it can be handled and be used for educational purposes.
  2. It can be transferred to a like institution such as another museum or appropriate organization, or library
  3. Lastly the item may be disposed of if it is deemed a hazard to the staff and collection.
  4. In rare cases when the item has been unconditionally donated and sale of the item specifically allowed by the donor, it may be sold and funds put in a restricted fund for collections care and acquisition.


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2016 Murray County Historical Society