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Use this procedure to record when objects leave your museum for whatever reason. By ‘museum’ we include any off-site stores that are under your control. This can be as simple as an enquirer collecting an object they left for identification, in which case you might just need a further signature on the relevant object entry form to confirm safe handover. In more complex situations you will use Object exit as part of other procedures; in fact, any time objects leave your buildings. This potentially includes objects you are disposing of and objects stolen from you.
This is a Spectrum primary procedure. UK museums must meet the standard set out below to fulfil the requirements of the Museum Accreditation Scheme.
The Spectrum Standard
You must have a policy covering the exit of objects from your buildings. This could either be a standalone document or part of a wider collections management policy. Either way, you should include answers to these questions:
- In what circumstances might objects leave the museum?
- Who can authorise objects leaving the museum in each of these circumstances?
- What levels of condition checking are needed for each scenario?
- What signatures are required to prove that objects have left your care and someone else has taken responsibility for them?
- How will you make sure that relevant location and movement records are updated?
You must also have a written procedure that explains the steps to follow when an object leaves your museum. Spectrum’s suggested procedure is a useful starting point, and is available as a workflow diagram or as a text file you can edit. However you do it, your own procedure must meet the following minimum requirements:
|Minimum requirement||Why this is important||See (cross-references to be added in final version)|
|You can account for all objects that have left your museum for whatever reason.||The inventory of objects in your care is up-to-date and accurate.|
|All objects leave with appropriate authorisation.||Objects do not leave without the agreement of those who are responsible for their care.|
|You get appropriate signatures to prove that you have transferred objects into someone else’s care.||You have proof that borrowed objects have been returned to their owners.|
|You keep up-to-date location and movement records for objects that belong to you even when they are away from the museum.||You can account for all your objects at all times.
Objects do not become ‘lost’ when they leave your premises.