This procedure provides a receipt for objects left with you, sets out your terms for accepting responsibility, gives the object an identifying number, and captures key information right away. It is especially important if you accept enquiries and potential acquisitions at the front desk and someone else will follow up later. Anyone who might receive an object in this way should know what to do and how to record the information you need.

You should take the same care of all objects you are responsible for, whether or not they belong to your museum. You might be held liable if you lose or damage such objects, even if you did not ask for them to be left with you (eg they arrive unexpectedly in the post). You need to record their arrival before you decide what to do with them.

In this procedure we use the term 'owner' to mean the person depositing the object with you, but this will not always be the case. If the depositor is someone else, make sure they have authority to act on the owner's behalf.

This is a Spectrum primary procedure. UK museums must meet the standard set out below to fulfil the requirements of the Museum Accreditation Scheme.

Object entry - the Spectrum standard


You should have a policy on why and how you receive objects and other material such as associated archives. This could either be a standalone document or part of a wider collections management policy. Either way, in deciding your policy you will most likely need to consider these questions: In what circumstances will you accept […]

Object entry - suggested procedure


You should have a written procedure that explains the steps to follow when objects arrive at your museum. This suggested procedure, and the workflow based on it, are useful starting points. However you do it, your own procedure should meet the minimum requirements of the Spectrum standard . To see the workflow as PDF, follow […]