Garfield Heights Historical Society

Garfield Heights, Ohio

Collections Management Policy


Garfield Heights Historical Society & Museum

Collections Management Policy




The Garfield Heights Historical Society & Museum (GHHS&M) owns, exhibits, or uses collections that are appropriate to its mission.  The GHHS&M assumes the responsibility of effectively managing, documenting and caring for the collections.

These collections should conform to the GHHS&M Constitution Preamble:

“…Through the knowledge of history, we enrich our lives, more accurately compare the past, present, and future to better understand our area’s progress.”

We accomplish this by:

a.      Providing a registration and classification system for collections.

b.      Housing and exhibiting artifacts in the most stable and secure environment possible.The GHHS&M strategically plans for the use and development of its collections

c.      Guided by its mission, the museum provides public access to its collections:  tours, exhibits, public programs, articles, etc. and ensuring their preservation.




1. The GHHS&M collecting area is defined as the boundaries of the City of Garfield Heights and its surrounding areas. 

2.  At present, the GHHS&M is the only museum service in the City of Garfield Heights, Ohio.

The acceptance of artifacts and materials will not be limited to any time period. The Museum’s Collection contains historic artifacts that trace the history of the founding families of the area and contemporary materials pertinent to the developing community. 

We are currently experiencing acquisition limitations due to the restrictive space of our current museum structure.

3.  The GHHS&M maintains its collection primarily for exhibition, research and teaching purposes.

The GHHS&M will concentrate on acquiring objects of local significance and/or use, particularly those which expand or enhance the existing collections. 

a.   Acquisition of items or collections outside this definition will be dependent on available space.

4.  The use of new collections contributes to the information base being developed.

a.      Limitations on acquisition of historic and contemporary collection items will be determined by:  storage restriction, display space, financial resources, and volunteer manpower.

b.      New collections will be incorporated into the existing artifacts and utilized for education, research, and teaching purposes.

5.  The Collections Management Committee

a.      The Collections Management Committee should consist of 5 or more members of the Garfield Heights Historical Society.

b.      The Committee selection shall be approved by the officers of the Garfield Heights Historical Society.

c.      An additional member can be selected if there is an open position to make at least 5 people on the committee.

d.      The Collections Committee will meet when the need arises.

e.      The Collections Management Committee will be referred to as the Collections Committee.

f.        President and outside experts may be asked to assist the Collections Committee.

6.  The GHHS&M has the right to refuse items offered which do not fall within the guidelines.

a.      The museum can refuse items which duplicate unnecessarily those already within the collections.

b.      And items which it cannot adequately preserve or curate due to limitation in conservation or storage facilities.

7.  The GHHS&M will not normally accept material on loan except under the following circumstances:

a.      The loan is for the purposes of temporary exhibition or copying, or where the items are of   exceptional interest to the museum.

b.      Any loan will be agreed to in writing by the lender and the museum.  This includes allocation of responsibilities for insurance and transport arrangements.

c.      The GHHS&M will not be held responsible for any damage that occurs while the Museum is in possession of the loaned items.

d.      And shall be for specified fixed-term only, renewable in writing.

8.  Gifts and bequests will only be accepted on the basis that any conditions are approved by the Collections Committee. 

a.      Reference will be made to the limitation on collecting as specified in this Policy.

9.  As of July, 2006 the GHHS&M Acquisition Agreement Form must be signed by the donor and a museum representative.

a.      The donation will be considered an “unrestricted gift” that entitles the museum to use the donation in any way the Museum wishes.

b.      Donated items can be displayed, stored, sold, exchanged, donated, etc. by the GHHS&M.

c.      If the donor doesn’t agree to the “unrestricted gift” status, the GHHS&M has the right to refuse the donation.

10.  In general, museum artifacts and materials are not to be used personally; however, artifacts and materials can be used in demonstrations and educational programs as deemed necessary.




1.       Deaccession is the process of removing permanently accessioned material from the collection of the Garfield Heights Historical Society & Museum.  (Referred to in this document as GHHS&M).


a.      This process should be cautious, deliberate and ethical.

b.      It is the goal of this museum to retain and conserve all of its artifacts. 

c.      Artifacts which have been accepted in the past, items which we cannot conserve, or do not meet our current 2015 Collections Policy, may be deaccessed. 

d.      Materials from the Museum’s collections to be considered for deaccessing must meet at least one of the following criteria:


2.      Criteria for Deaccession:


a.      The material does not fall within the scope of the collection. 

b.      The material lacks physical integrity.  It is incomplete, broken, or in poor and unsalvageable condition.

c.      The material is a duplicate of another item already in the collection.

d.      The material lacks potential usefulness for research or exhibition purposes.

e.      The Society lacks the capacity to store, preserve, and exhibit the material.

f.        The Society is not able to financially support and properly care for the material.

g.      The material has been determined to be permanently lost from the collection because of theft or documented disappearance.

h.     The material falls within the scope of the collection but is marginal and not of foreseeable use, and would be particularly appropriate to another institution.

i.        The condition of the material is beyond reasonable repair.


3.      Deaccession Procedure


a.      The Collections Committee will be called to meet and discuss possible artifacts, books, magazines and other items that need to be removed due to the reasons explained in the Criteria for Deaccession listed above.

b.      All accession records and information that is available concerning the items shall be assembled and made available for the Collections Committee meeting.

c.      The Collections Committee will discuss the proposed deaccession and by a simple majority vote confirm or reject the deaccession of the item or items.

d.      The deaccessed records shall be marked to indicate the date and method of disposal of items and shall be filed with the accession records.

e.      If there is a lack of records for an artifact, book, magazine, etc. that was accepted in the past, it can still be deaccessed and listed in the records as deaccessed with an appropriate notation.

a.      After the items have been deaccessed by the Collections Committee, the artifacts, books, etc. items will be placed on a list made available at the Museum and on our website,

b.      These items will be offered to other museums or organizations.

c.      After a reasonable period determined by the Collections Committee, the deaccessed artifacts, books, magazines, etc. will also be offered to the public, GHHS Members and the Board of Trustees.

1)    The following options are available: On our website, NEOIMC Blog, in the local paper and sold to the public at special events.  Also, any new ways to make our items available to others.

2)   If a GHHS&M member would like to have an item he/she will submit a request to a Collections Committee Member. The committee will approve or disapprove the request.

3)   Monetary donations are voluntary for GHHSM members.

4)   If more than one member requests the same item we will have a drawing and the winning member will receive the item.


1.        Methods of Disposal of Items:


a.      The Collections Committee will notify the following persons of the intent of the GHHS&M to deaccess an item:  Donor, Heir, or Lender. 

b.      The Donor, Heir, or Lender has the option of having the item returned to their possession. 

c.      Documents, photographs, or objects pertaining to other cities may be offered to the appropriate museum, library, archives or public educational institution interested in possessing the material. 

Announcements will be placed in all available forms of communication.                 

d.      Objects in the collection that have been deaccessed by the Collections Committee may be sold, or a donation requested from a GHHS Member, Board of Trustees Member or the public.

Collections Fund

·         A Collections Fund will be created into which a net proceeds resulting from the disposition of deaccessed items are deposited.

·         Items given to the GHHS&M expressly for the purpose of sale may be sold and the money from that sale placed in the Collections Fund.

·         Withdrawals from the Collections Fund may be made only for:

ü      Purchase of items for the collection.

ü      Purchase of materials for the conservation of collections.

ü      Conservation of artifacts.

2015 Collections Management Committee are:  (1) Diane Crosby, (2) Jo-Ann Mosier,

(3) Wayne Williams, (4) Kim Sanducci, (5) Eileen Longo, (6) David Nemec, and  (7) Steve Sanducci.

After a final review by the membership, the members voted and approved  the final 2015 revised

version at the monthly meeting February 14, 2015.