Department Collections Policy

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2013 |LAST UPDATED: January 18, 2013 | Policy Section: insurance-risk-management

Responsible Executive

Carolyn Ainslie, vice president for finance and treasurer

Responsible Office

Department of Risk Management

Contact

Megan Adams, assistant treasurer and director of risk management, adamsm@princeton.edu or (609) 258-2169

I. Policy StatementBACK TO TOP

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 been given 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 PolicyBACK TO TOP

Any faculty or staff having responsibility for objects in a department collection, objects on loan from the University collection, or an outside organization.

III. Definitions

Accession
The recording or processing of an object into the University Collection.

Acquisition
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.

Deaccession
The formal process of permanently removing an object from the collection by adjusting the records and physically removing the object from the University.

Department Collection
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.

Inspection
The study and recordation of the physical characteristics of an object.

Insurance Value
For insurance purposes, this is the estimated replacement cost of an object, which may be established at the time of acquisition or appraisal.

Inventory
An itemized listing of all objects, which includes a description, location, date of acquisition, value, condition, and photo.

Loan Agreement
A contract between a lender and a borrower, which specifies objects and outlines the conditions of loan and the respective responsibilities of each party. 

Objects
Objects include antiques, architectural interiors, artwork, audio/visual works, 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 outside organizations.

University Art Museum
The University Art Museum building and its collection of art and objects.

University Collection
Composed of assets in the University Art Museum Collection, the University Campus Art Collection, and the University Library Collection.

University Department
Any academic or administrative division of Princeton University, including centers and programs.

University Library
All of the various libraries and object collections that make up Princeton University Library, which include 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.
 

IV. PolicyBACK TO TOP

DEPARTMENT COLLECTIONS

A department collection is a permanent or long-term collection of objects that is located in a department. A department collection may be displayed in lobbies, social spaces, conference rooms, offices, or outdoor campus space; or it may be in storage. A department collection is not maintained, in most circumstances, by University Art Museum staff.

Objects in the department collection are University assets, for which departments have been given 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 extend to objects on loan from the University Collection or 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 the responsibilities of this policy. Prior to acquiring an object of art, 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 fixtures meet retrieval needs and 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 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 or 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.

INVENTORY

University departments are required to conduct an initial inventory - and subsequent periodic inventories - of all objects in its 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 a department discovers a rare manuscript that does not belong in the department’s inventory, the department is asked to notify the Associate University Librarian for Rare Books for assistance in the proper disposition of the manuscript.

The department inventory is a requirement of this policy; please click here for the recommended procedure for How to Conduct a Department Collection Inventory. To the extent 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.

Inspection

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.

At the time of inspection, report objects found to be missing or damaged at the time of inspection. For instructions, please see the “Damage or Loss” section below.

VALUATION

The valuation of an object should be made at the time of acquisition. The value of the asset is recorded at cost or fair market value at the date of the gift. 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 meet the obligation to secure valuation should be directed to the Vice Provost, Space Programming and Planning, Office of the Provost.

Insurance

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 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.

V. Procedures BACK TO TOP

VI. Forms BACK TO TOP

VII. Contact Roles and Responsibilities BACK TO TOP

University Department Ensuring that sufficient funds are available to properly acquire, store, display, manage and maintain the object prior to the accession.  
University Department Requesting additional funding for such accessions, if needed, must be made with the Provost’s Office prior to the accession.
University Department Managing the required activities associated with the acquisition, loan, care, security, inventory, and valuation of objects in the department collection, or objects on loan from the University Collection and outside organizations.
University Department Reporting damage or loss immediately to Public Safety, Risk Management, and others as required.
University Department Maintain file(s) for loan agreements, inventories, and independent appraisals.
University Campus Collections Approval process with Campus Art Steering Committee of acquisition of art for University department object.
University Campus Collections Providing advice to University departments regarding acquisition, loan, care, security, inventory, valuation, and inspection of department collection objects.
University Campus Collections Conducting periodic condition assessments of objects from Campus Art Collections and loans from Art Museum.
University Campus Collections Providing consultative advice to University departments on the handling or movement of department collection objects.
University Campus Collections Assisting in the recording of inventories and valuations of department collections within larger University Collections management.
University Campus Collections Recording in the University inventory any damage or loss of an object.
Department of Risk Management Providing consultative advice regarding the care and handling of department collections.
Department of Risk Management Negotiating with insurance carrier regarding appropriate insurance coverage.
Department of Risk Management Coordinating notification of insurance carriers regarding the loss or damage of an object.
Office of General Counsel Providing template language and advice on incoming and outgoing loan agreements.
Office of General Counsel Coordinating notification of loan agreement parties regarding the loss or damage of an object.
Office of Public Safety Providing consultative advice regarding the security of department collections.
Office of Public Safety Investigating circumstances surrounding loss of or damage to objects.
Office of the Provost Providing consultative advice to departments regarding acquisitions of objects and meeting the responsibilities of this policy.
Office of the Provost Confirming availability of all resources necessary to meet the responsibilities of this policy.
Office of Design and Construction Either providing advice or being responsible for the proper care, handling, movement, and storage of all objects, depending on the circumstance.

VIII. Update Log BACK TO TOP

12/05/12

Approved


 

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