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Collections Stewardship Resources

Effective collections stewardship ensures that objects the museum owns, borrows, holds in its custody, and/or uses are available and accessible to present and future generations. By possessing collection objects, the museum has legal, social, and ethical obligations to the public to properly store, manage, and care for these objects, and their associated documentation. Below, are various areas museum professionals should be familiar with related to collections stewardship.


The Alliance shares the core standards on Collections Stewardship.

Collections Management

This section has information about access to collections (including digitization); acquisitions & accessioning; appraisals; cataloging (including collections management software); categories of collections; couriering; deaccessioning; inventories; loans; marking; old loans and objects found in collections; packing, moving & shipping; and writing a collections management policy.

Collections Planning

This section provides resources to assist museums with writing and implementing a collections plan.

Collections Care

This section has information on collections care by type, condition reporting, conservation treatment, historic preservation, planning, preventive care, storage, and handling.

Ethical and Legal Collections Issues

This section addresses access to collections records; ownership and protection of cultural and natural resources; rights and reproductions; and tax issues.

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