Message #196:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Museums Can Sell Objects (Deaccession)
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 10:28:06 -0700


[ Dr. Bettison -- Toptrader's original note and my response were posted at
http://www.swanet.org/artifact.html.  Your response is very
welcomed information.  Thank you!  -- SASIG Ed. ]

From: Cynthia Bettison

I read your reply to Sonny (TOPTRADER).  One of the things that should be
pointed out to Sonny is that museums in the U.S. ascribe to the American
Association of Museums ethics standards.  One of the ethics standards
states that museums can sell objects (deaccession) in their possession for
the purpose of obtaining funds to pursue the purchase of objects or
collections that meet their collection policy.  However, funds from the
deaccessioning and sale of collection objects can not be used for contruction, 
to pay off outstanding debts, etc.

If Sonny or anyone else wishes to donate a collection of materials, one of
the best things to do is to donate the collection to a museum whose mission
statement and collections policy will accept the objects.  Western New
Mexico University Museum for example, focuses on the prehistory and history
of southwestern New Mexico, eastern Arizona, and northern Mexico, and on
the Southwestern United States in general.  But, we do not accept
collections of NASA space equipment for instance.  Instead, the museum
tries to match the donor with an institution that would accept such a 
collection.  If donated collections do not have any provenience information, 
many museums will convert them into teaching collections, ensuring that they 
are well used.
 
Thanks,
Cynthia Ann Bettison