Approvals: SRSC 2011 August 17; Heritage Committee [date]
The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) faces many challenges in managing and developing collections largely built through gifts and bequests from private donors prior to the development of acquisition guidelines. The SRSC builds and shapes its holdings over time to realize more fully and effectively its mission of sharing, healing, and learning. Acquisitions to or de-accessions from the SRSC must be guided by well-defined written collecting goals and acquisition and de-accession principles, procedures, and processes. De-accessioning decisions are made with great thoughtfulness, care, and prudence. Expressions of donor intent are always respected in de-accession decisions. Additionally any interests of the public, for whose benefit holdings are maintained, are foremost in making de-accession decisions.
De-accessioning is defined as the process by which an archive or other object (collectively, a “work”), wholly or in part, are permanently removed from the SRSC’s holdings.
Disposal is defined as the transfer of ownership by the SRSC after a work has been de-accessioned; in the case of a false or fraudulent work, or of a work that has been irreparably damaged or cannot practically be restored, removal from the collection and disposition is determined by the SRSC and may include destruction of the work.
The SRSC’s Collection Policy is the foundation for the De-accessioning and Disposal Policy. The SRSC strives to acquire only those collections that support the Centre’s mission of sharing, healing, and learning. When collections are offered that do not fit the SRSC’s mission, staff shall reasonably assist the donor by suggesting repositories whose collections fit better with the offered donation. The SRSC also does not accept collections “on deposit” per the Collection Policy to ensure that the public’s access to collections is not arbitrarily terminated by third-parties.
When works are reviewed and found inappropriate to the mission of the Centre, to threaten surrounding collections or the health of the staff and public (e.g. mould), or to damage the work of the SRSC (e.g. fraudulent works), the Centre has the right to consider the works for de-accessioning and disposal.
The SRSC follows all applicable laws with regard to de-accessioning and disposing of works. E.g. works for which tax receipts have been issued or for which Cultural Property certifications have been received. Furthermore the Centre shall not capitalize or collateralize collections or recognize as revenue the value of donated works.
The SRSC understands that it must fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities and act in the Centre’s best interests; however, the Centre may give consideration to keeping a de-accessioned work in the public domain.
The following steps are taken into account when deciding to de-accession a work.
1. The SRSC staff will bring forward information on a work to be de-accessioned to the Co-Directors at a regular staff meeting when possible and ask for the discussion to be on the staff meeting agenda.
1.1. Notification may be made by email, telephone or in person outside of a staff meeting in situations where the works pose an immediate health threat.
2. Staff will prepare information that describes the work, the donor of the work, and the rationale for de-accessioning that is grounded in the policies of the Centre.
2.1. The staff will also prepare preliminary information for the most appropriate disposal methods, based on the Selection of Methods of Disposal in this policy.
3. The Co-Directors will make a decision in a timely manner based on the information provided by the staff.
3.1. Currently the Co-Directors are Professor Don Jackson and Ken Hernden, University Librarian.
4. When a work is de-accessioned all electronic and paper records must be updated.
5. Prior to disposal, an image will be taken of the work and retained in the Centre’s records.
6. As works are disposed of, the method of disposition, including possible consignee, new owner, sale price and location, if known, shall be recorded according to the Centre’s Records Management and Retention Policy.
The following may be taken into account in selecting a method of disposal.
Preferred methods of disposal are:
In the case of works that pose threats to other collections or the staff and public, the work will be documented as above, and destroyed in the manner appropriate to the identified threat.
The SRSC will take every reasonable effort to identify and evaluate the various advantages and yields available through different means of disposal.
In the case of a work of art by a living donor or a deceased donor’s estate/heirs, consideration may be given to an exchange with the donor or estate. The SRSC will notify the donor of a work or the donor’s estate/heirs, when practicable, under consideration for de-accessioning and disposal.