Acquisition is the process of acquiring objects for the museum. Acquisition is a prerequisite for accessioning.
Accessioning is the formal procedure that officially incorporates objects into the ethnographic or archaeological collections of the Marjorie Barrick Museum. It is the transfer of clear title of the object(s) or the registration of held-in-trust objects. Upon accessioning, the museum receives ownership of the acquisition. The museum assumes the obligation for the proper care and management of objects. Accessioning includes: (1) inventorying and describing the object(s), (2) assigning the object(s) a unique accession number, and (3) recording this information in the accession files of the museum.
Conditions for Acceptance
A major purpose of the acquisition policy is to ensure that growth of collections is in harmony with the mission, goals, resources, and priorities of the museum. The museum is responsible for maintaining and conserving the objects in collections in perpetuity as a public trust. For this reason, the museum accepts and acquires only those objects that fall within financial and physical limitations of the museum. All potential acquisitions are evaluated by the following criteria:
Standards of Documentation
Minimum standards of documentation, including provenience, vary between the ethnographic and archaeological collections. Objects with little or no contextual information but with research and educational value may be accessioned at the discretion of the program director.
Accession files consisting of all transaction documents are maintained by the museum. Accession numbers are assigned in sequence with no duplication.
Means of Acquisition
Objects may be acquired by bequest, gift, purchase, exchange, field excavation, field collection, transfer from a governmental body, or any method that transfers title or long-term care of collections to the museum.