Insurance and Risk Management
A department collection is a collection of objects that is located in a University academic or administrative department, is deemed to have intrinsic value, historical significance, or lasting cultural value to the University, and is not part of the University Art Museum Collection, the University Campus Art Collection, or the University Library Collection (the “University Collection”).
Objects in a department collection are University assets for which the department has stewardship responsibilities. This policy sets forth the departmental responsibilities related to the proper care, security, inventory, valuation, and reporting of damage to or loss of objects. These stewardship responsibilities extend to objects on loan from the University collection or an outside organization.
II. Who is Affected by this Policy
Any faculty or staff having responsibility for objects in a department collection, objects on loan from the University collection, or objects on loan from an outside organization.
The process of acquiring an object.
Campus Art Collections
Objects that are located outside the University Art Museum, but that are maintained by University Art Museum staff.
Permanent or long term collection of objects that are located in a department, not including objects that are on loan from the University Collection or an outside organization. A department collection is typically not maintained by the University Art Museum staff.
The study and recording of the physical characteristics of an object.
The estimated replacement cost of an object for insurance purposes, which may be established at the time of acquisition or appraisal.
An itemized listing of all objects, which includes a description, location, date of acquisition, value, condition, and photo.
A contract between a lender and a borrower, which specifies objects and outlines the conditions of loan and the responsibilities of each party.
Objects include antiques, architectural interiors, artwork, audio/visual works, books and periodicals, rare books and manuscripts, furniture, equipment, gems, memorabilia, minerals, literary and historical documents/papers, natural history artifacts or historical artifacts, numismatic collections, photographs, pottery and ceramics, and sculpture that are deemed to have intrinsic value, historical significance, or lasting cultural value to the University. Objects may be held in a department collection, or may be on loan from the University Collection or from outside organizations. .
University Art Museum
The University Art Museum building and its collection of art and objects.
Assets in the University Art Museum Collection, the University Campus Art Collection, and the University Library Collection.
Any academic or administrative division of Princeton University, including centers and programs.
All of the libraries and collections that make up the Princeton University Library, including the Architecture Library, East Asian Library and Gest Collection, Engineering Library, Firestone Library, Forrestal Annex, Furth Plasma Physics Library, Humanities Resource Center, Lewis Library, Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, Mendel Music Library, Mudd Manuscript Library, Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP), and Stokes Library.
A department collection is a permanent or long-term collection of objects that is located in a department other than the University Art Museum or University Library. A department collection may be displayed in lobbies, social spaces, conference rooms, offices, or outdoor campus space; or it may be in storage. In most circumstances, a department collection is not maintained by University Art Museum staff.
Objects in department collections are University assets for which departments have stewardship responsibilities. University department chairs, office heads, and center or program directors are responsible for assigning responsibility for the day-to-day oversight of department collections. This oversight includes the responsibility to make arrangements for the proper care, security, inventory, valuation, and reporting of damage to or loss of objects in a department collection. These stewardship responsibilities also extend to objects on loan from the University Collection or from an outside organization.
Prior to the acquisition of an object, or the initiation of a loan agreement for an object, the University department is required to consult with the Office of the Provost to confirm availability of all resources necessary to meet its responsibilities under this policy. Prior to acquiring an object of art by purchase or donation, University departments are responsible for reviewing the Gift Acceptance Policy and the Campus Art Process, and for ensuring compliance with all acquisition guidelines. University departments should contact the Office of General Counsel for assistance developing a loan agreement before accepting an object from an outside organization.
Care and Security
It is the responsibility of the University department to provide for the appropriate care and security of all department collection objects, as well as objects on loan from the University Collection or an outside organization.
In general terms, appropriate care and security of objects might include:
- smoke detection and fire suppression
- flood sensors
- security measures to protect against intrusion, theft, or vandalism
- temperature and humidity controls
- other environmental conditions that optimize an object’s preservation, regardless of whether the object is on display or is in storage
The University department is responsible for managing all objects, which includes ensuring that objects are accessible for inspection and that measure are in place to provide adequate protection and preservation. Objects may not be displayed or installed in corridors or public areas unless they are appropriately secured. All works hung on walls (unless oversized) will be secured to the wall with mending plates to prevent unauthorized removal. Areas where objects are displayed must be locked when not in use. When feasible, no food, drink, or smoking is allowed in areas where objects are displayed, prepared, or stored.
The Art Museum's Manager of Campus Collections should be consulted regarding care, maintenance, and security issues. Security measures and expense should be commensurate with an object’s overall value. All requests for funding should be directed to the Vice Provost, Space Programming and Planning, Office of the Provost.
Handling and Movement
University departments are required to inform individuals who may handle objects of their responsibilities to provide proper care and security for the objects. Every effort should be made to ensure the proper handling methods are followed at all times.
In the event of an office move, building renovation, or remodeling, the University department is responsible for arranging and overseeing the proper care, handling, movement, and storage of all objects. These arrangements should be made in consultation with the Project Manager, Office of Design and Construction, the Manager of Campus Collections, University Art Museum, and the Associate Director, Department of Risk Management. For objects on loan from the University Collection, contact the Manager of Campus Collections who will assist in coordinating temporary storage and safekeeping. When feasible, an object on loan from an outside organization should be returned to the lending organization prior to the office move.
When the Office of Design and Construction is involved in a building renovation or remodeling and has responsibility for the coordination of objects to be moved, the University department is responsible for providing a copy of the department collection inventory to the Project Manager, Office of Design and Construction. Under these circumstances, the Office of Design and Construction becomes responsible for arranging and overseeing the proper care, handling, movement, and storage of objects in consultation with the Associate Director, Department of Risk Management and the Manager of Campus Collections.
University departments are required to conduct an initial inventory - and subsequent periodic inventories - of all objects in their care, including objects on loan from the University Collection and outside organizations. The inventory must contain accurate information including description, location, date of acquisition, value, condition, and photo (when feasible) for all objects, including those on exhibition, in storage, on loan, at conservation, or elsewhere.
If possible, departments are encouraged to utilize the inventory system “Portfolio” for the inventories. For any inventories not conducted through Portfolio, departments are required to provide a copy of the inventory to the Manager of Campus Collections and the Associate Director, Department of Risk Management.
University departments are required to make routine inspections to ensure the presence and the condition of objects, especially those on display in public spaces. All objects must receive a complete condition report every two years.
The department must report objects found to be missing or damaged at the time of inspection. For instructions, please see the “Damage or Loss” section below.
Individual objects in department collections costing or valued at $5,000 or more should be accounted for as capital equipment, as outlined in the Capital Equipment Policy . For donated department collections, please consult with the Office of the Controller for the appropriate accounting treatment.
Objects should be valued at the time of acquisition. The value of the asset is recorded at cost or fair market value at the date of the gift or purchase. Depending on the stated value of an object, an appraisal by a qualified appraiser may be necessary. A complete valuation of the department collection is required periodically. Valuation data is required as part of the departmental inventory. All requests for financial support to secure valuation should be directed to the Vice Provost, Space Programming and Planning, Office of the Provost.
All University assets are insured under the University’s property policies. Objects that are on loan from outside organizations are not automatically insured under University insurance policies. University departments accepting objects on loan must consult with the Associate Director, Department of Risk Management regarding insurance coverage.
Reporting Damage or Loss
When an object is lost or damaged, University departments are required to notify the Department of Public Safety and the Associate Director, Department of Risk Management immediately. Notify the Manager of Campus Collections of any damage to or loss of objects from Campus Art Collections or objects on loan from the Art Museum. When the value of an object is impaired as a result of damage, loss or other circumstance, the value of the asset will be reduced accordingly in the University’s accounting records. Click here for information on reporting a property claim.
VI. Roles and Responsibilities
10/1/18 - Updated Executive Sponsor listing.
1/18/18 - Updated to reflect terminology and procedures to support the new Prime Asset Management Module. Clarified funding requests to Vice Provost, Space Programming and Planning and Office of the Provost. Removed manuscript language. Explicitly cited approval required from Office of the Controller and ORPA (if sponsored funds were used for the purchase). Added guidance that departmental art objects costing $5,000 should be accounted for as capital equipment.
12/5/12 - Approved.