Collections & Acquisitions Policy
The Australian History Museum collection exists to facilitate teaching, learning and research into Australian History. To this end the Australian History Museum will collect, record, research, display and store material culture, aiming to enrich the educational experiences of students of Australian history both within and without the university community. A 'public arm' is intrinsic to the vision of the Collection, and exists to complement its teaching and research activities. The Australian History Museum Collections Policy is based upon the premise of materials being an educative device.
The Australian History Museum will collect materials that demonstrate a link to one or more of the following collection areas:
- Indigenous Australia: The history of contact between Aborigines, Torres Strait Islanders and non-Aboriginal Australians to the present day.
- Immigration: Covering the whole history of immigration to Australia (19th century assisted immigration, the post- World War II migrant, the post 1970's Indo-Chinese migrant and the contemporary refugee.)
- War and Society: War has played a primary role in Australian history. 'War' will be taken to mean those declared and undeclared in which Australians have participated, domestically and internationally. Collection material will evidence the impact of these wars on Australian society.
- Women's Studies: Women in Australian society with particular reference to popular culture, politics, work, race, Australian Women's history and feminist writing.
- Domestic & working life: Focusing primarily on the realities of domestic and work experiences of Australian's throughout the 20th century (this are is to encompass the experiences of: children, men, women, migrants & Indigenous Australians)
Criteria for Acceptance of Material into AHM Collection
In order for any material to be accepted into the collection it must meet the following criteria:
- It must bear specific reference to one of the Collection areas.
- It can be used in current or future education programs, exhibitions or displays.
- It is not duplicated in the Collection.
- Material is in a sound physical condition.
- Adequate documented information is available on the material to establish provenance.
- There is adequate funds and resources for the storage and conservation of the object.
- All acquired items become the property of the Australian History Museum.
- Where applicable all copyright relating to the item become and remain within the Australian History Museum.
- There are no conditions placed on the admission of the item to the Australian History Museum Collection.
- Human remains and secret/sacred material will not be collected in accordance with Museums Australia policy regarding such material.
Method of Acquisition
- The Australian History Museum will acquire material via, donation, bequest, purchase or taxation incentive.
- Clear title is to be established upon receipt, and documentation completed to this effect (via gift acknowledgement form). Full provenance to be determined as much as possible upon acquisition.
- The Australian History Museum will not accept donations, gifts or bequests with any conditions attached whatsoever.
- The Australian History Museum will only accept loaned materials for specific teaching and exhibition purposes based on the terms of the Australian History Museum Loans Policy.
- The Australian History Museum will only engage in the loaning of objects for specific exhibition or teaching purposes.
- Loans will be assessed on an individual basis.
- The Australian History Museum will only loan materials for a maximum of twelve months (The loan period may be extended or re-negotiated prior to the completion of the initial loan period.)
- All loans are subject to the completion of an Inward Loan Agreement (including a photograph of the material on acceptance)
- The Australian History Museum will only loan objects from its Collection for specific education or teaching purposes.
- All outward loan requests will be assessed on an individual basis.
- The Australian History Museum will only loan materials for a maximum of twelve months. (Extension of loan period may be considered on a case by case basis depending on circumstances)
- The Australian History Museum reserves the right to recall any loaned material at any point in the loan period if needed by the Australian History Museum.
- All outward loans are subject to the completion of an Outward Loan Agreement (including a photograph and condition report of the material prior to loan)
Copying/ Reproduction Policy
Copying of items including (but not limited to) documents held within the Australian History Museum Collection (excluding Honours, Masters & Ph.D theses - only copied with written permission of the author or representative) will be undertaken in accordance with the following conditions.
- All items copied are to be used for personal, educational or research purposes only.
- Items will only be copied in compliance with copyright restrictions.
- All copying of items will be registered with the Manager of the museum.
- Scanned copies will be available within 3 working days of the request.
- Australian History Museum must be acknowledged wherever copied material is used.
De-accession and Disposal Policy
Criteria for de-accessioning
The Australian History Museum will consider de-accession and disposal of materials when:
- Materials cannot be used in current or future exhibitions or displays.
- Materials no longer serve teaching or research purposes.
- Materials do not fit into the collection areas of the Australian History Museum.
- Materials are duplicated within the Australian History Museum Collection.
- Materials are no longer in a sound physical condition and the conservation resources of the Australian History Museum will not sustain their restoration and/or preservation.
Procedure for de-accessioning
- An accessioned object must meet one or more of the above de-accessioning criteria.
- A request to de-accession materials in the collection must be made by the Education Officer/ Manager to the Australian History Museum Management Committee for approval.
- A de-accession Form must be completed for each piece of material disposed of. (a photograph of the material must be attached at time of disposal)
- A copy of the de-accession Form (and photograph) will be kept on file within the Australian History Museum.
Methods of disposal
Materials approved for de-accessioning and disposal by the Australian History Museum Management Committee will be disposed of via the following methods subject to Management Committee approval (listed in order of desirability):
- Returned to donor or donor's family (if details are on record in the Australian History Museum and easily retrievable)
- Transfer to another museum/gallery (if possible)
- Donation to a charitable organisation (e.g. Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul)
- Destroy or recycle