You should have a policy on valuation. 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: What ethical principles will you apply to object valuation? Why might you put valuations on objects? Who is […]
Documenting the financial value of objects, whether your own or borrowed.
Use this procedure when placing a financial valuation on objects, whether your own or borrowed. This is normally for Insurance and indemnity purposes, but might also be done before acquiring objects by purchase.
Apart from these collection management reasons, it is normally considered unethical to put a commercial value on collections, particularly in the context of financially-motivated disposals. The Museums Association Code of Ethics for Museums gives guidance on this issue.
It is also unwise to give valuations of objects left as enquiries. The terms on the back of the Collections Trust object entry form say that ‘museum staff are not authorised to give valuations’, and also ‘no valuation indicated verbally or written on this form at the time of deposit will be admitted by the museum.’
You should have a written procedure that explains the steps to follow when carrying out valuations. 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 the download link […]