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Collections Management Policy

The purpose of the Solvay-Geddes Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and exhibit historical material in connection with the Town of Geddes and the Village of Solvay, and to conduct and encourage historical research.

I.  Acquisitions

A.  Scope

1.  Acquisitions should meet at least one of the following criteria:

a.  relate to the people and the history of the Town of Geddes and/or the Village of Solvay, that is, relate to the economic, social, political, cultural or religious development of the area

b.  consist of local materials or be manufactured locally.  If not manufactured or used in the area, the item should have a specific relevance to the history and growth of the Town of Geddes or the Village of Solvay

c.  be produced by local artists, craftsmen, authors, or residents of the Town of Geddes or the Village of Solvay

B.  Guidelines

1.  Acquisitions should:

a.  have a free and clear title with no restrictions as to use or future disposition (no object shall be taken on loan without specific approval from the Board of Directors, and an appropriate waiver signed)

b.  must be in reasonable physical state suitable for display (or restorable within the Society's resources and at the discretion of the Board of Directors)

c.  be available to be stored, preserved and protected within the means of the Society

2.  No object will be accepted without approval of the Archival Committee and Collections Committee.  The Board of Directors reserves the right to question the validity or the relevance of any acquisition, and ask for proof of such validity.

3.  A Solvay-Geddes Historical Society Gift Agreement form must be signed and dated by the donor, in which ownership is transferred to the Society.  This must also be signed by the Acquisition Chairperson, or if unavailable, a member of the Acquisition Committee.

4.  No member of the Society, while acting as a member of the Society, shall make a verbal or written appraisal of the object, for tax purposes of the donor.

5.  Purchases made by the Acquisition Committee must be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors and be within the budget limits of the Society.

II.  Care and Preservation

The Solvay-Geddes Historical Society realizes its obligation to protect its collections which are held in the public trust.  Therefore, the Solvay-Geddes Historical Society shall act to the best of its ability, according to the following guidelines:

1.  A stable environment for items in storage or on display shall be maintained by protecting them from excessive light, heat, humidity and dust. The environmental needs of different materials shall be considered.

2.  All materials shall be protected against theft, fire, and other disasters by a security system and by a written disaster plan.

3.  When possible, paper materials shall be copied on microfilm, photocopied on acid-free paper, or otherwise made redundant and stored in a separate location.

4.  When deemed necessary, conservation of materials deemed shall be undertaken with the advice of a trained conservator.

5.  Records shall be kept using appropriate forms for documentation:  i.e., transmission record forms for accessions as well as de-accession records.

6.  Inventories and location records shall be kept up to date to facilitate public access and to prevent loss.

III.  Public Access

The Solvay-Geddes Historical Society shall make research materials in its possession available to legitimate researchers with legitimate justification, but with the following stipulations:

1.  Inventories, relevant files and the assistance of a staff member or trained volunteer shall be available to users.

2.  A registration form listing rules for usage shall be read, filled out and signed by all researchers.

3.  The Corporation may limit the use of fragile or unusually valuable materials.

4.  Hours of operation may be by designated hours or by appointment, depending on the availability of staff or trained volunteers.

5.  Photographic and xerographic reproduction:

a.  a Request for Copies form containing a notice of copyright restriction shall be signed by each user before copies are made.

b.  copies may not be used "for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." (United States Copyright Law, Title 17)

c.  reproduction by the Corporation in no way transfers either copyright or property rights, this includes not constituting permission to publish or to display materials.

d.  all prices for copying shall be determined by the Board of Trustees.

e.  in some cases, the Corporation may refuse to allow copies to be made because of the physical condition of the materials, restrictions imposed by the donor, copyright law, or right-to-privacy statutes.

6.  A fee may be charged for research work done to meet requests; the amount shall be set by the Board of Trustees.

7.  The Corporation may refuse access to an individual researcher who has demonstrated such carelessness or deliberate destructiveness as to endanger the safety of the materials.

In addition, the Solvay-Geddes Historical Society is committed to bringing to the public information culled from its documents, photographs, artifacts and oral histories by presenting public programs, including slide shows, live acts, videos and films; mounting exhibits; and publishing newsletters, pamphlets, checklists and guides to the collections whenever possible.

IV.  De-accession Policy

1.  Objects considered for de-accession, or removal from the Society's collection, should satisfy one of the following criteria:

a.  the item does not meet the purpose of the Society or its collection policy

b.  the item is no longer pertinent to the collection

c.  the item is in a deteriorated condition which would be too costly for the Society to restore or repair

d.  there are too many similar items in the collection

e.  the item can no longer be stored or preserved

f.  the item has deteriorated beyond usefulness for exhibition or study

2.  Disposal of an item should be by means of:

a.  an outright gift to another historical society or not-for-profit organization

b.  an authorized sale

c.  returning the item to the listed donor

d.  destroying the item, if it has little value (monetary, historic, artistic) as determined by unanimous agreement of the members of the Collections Committee or upon the advice of a professional conservator

3.  No item should be given or sold to a private party, including a Society member or their family.

4.  All items to be disposed of must be first authorized in writing by a majority of the Board of Directors.

5.  All monies received should be used to further the Society's collection, or for preservation or protected means.


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