Object exit – suggested procedure

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You should have a written procedure that explains the steps to follow when an object leaves your museum. This suggested procedure is useful starting point. It is given as text and also as a workflow diagram. However you do it, your own procedure should meet the minimum requirements of the Spectrum standard.


Authorise the exit according to your policy and the linked procedure.

There are several linked procedures that might lead to Object exit. In all cases, the release of objects from your care should be authorised in writing (eg using an exit form or receipt). As well as your general policy, you should check relevant records to make sure there are no specific reasons why certain objects should not leave your care.


If the objects are being transported, go to Location and movement control.

If the objects are being collected directly from you by the owner, go on to the next step below. Otherwise go to Location and movement control.


Schedule collection of the objects.

Arrange for the objects to be at the agreed pick-up point at the agreed time.

Get a signature to confirm the safe handover of the objects.

This might be on an object exit form, or could be a further signature on the relevant object entry form. See Note 1 for further guidance.


Update location records.

Record the following information to an object’s location record as soon as possible:

Movement information

If you wish to know where an object was in the past, for each old object location, record:


Record information about the exit.

This may be done on a multi-copy paper form or in a computer system. If an object is on an entry form and is simply being returned to its owner, a separate exit form is not required if the entry form has space for the owner to acknowledge safe receipt. See Note 1.

Exit information that may need to be recorded includes:

Object identification information

Object entry information

Object exit information

  • Exit reference number.
  • Person authorising the exit in your organisation – Exit authoriser (use a standard form of name).
  • Signature of person receiving the exiting objects (or reference to signature, if a computer record see Exit note below).
  • Name and details of the destination of the exit:
  • Reason for exit – Exit reason (use a standard term source).
  • How the exit was carried out – Exit method (use a standard term source).
  • Exit date (use a standard format).
  • When and how the objects will be returned to your premises (if relevant):
  • Exit note, giving:
    • Reference to appropriate file containing additional details (eg ‘loans in’ file if object was on loan and is being returned).
    • Reference to an authorising signature.
    • Any other information about the exit not recorded elsewhere.

Object valuation information

Object condition and technical assessment information


Update insurance and indemnity records as needed.

Go to Insurance and indemnity if you need to update your insurance or indemnity cover, particularly if high-value items have left your buildings and are no longer your responsibility.


Return to whichever linked procedure triggered the object exit.

Guidance notes


Note 1: Object exit records

To ensure survival of object exit records use good-quality, archival paper and permanent ink, and make backup copies. One set (preferably the originals) should be stored securely away from the set in use.

Object exit forms

Object exit forms are always used when objects from your collections leave the museum, for example as loans or for disposal. Object exit forms will vary from one museum to another, however many use the Collections Trust exit form.

Object entry forms

These can be used when an object, which has never become part of your collection, is returned to its owner. The object may have come to you for identification or as a possible gift. When you return the object to its owner you can use the original object entry form, completed when the object was taken in, to obtain the owner’s signature to acknowledge return. This constitutes proof of the object leaving your premises, and you do not fill out an object exit form. If you use the Collections Trust object entry form there is a section on the form which can be signed by the owner.

Date created: 2017

Publisher: Collections Trust