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Deaccessioning and Disposal

The Alliance has compiled this set of deaccessioning and disposal resources from amongst its own offerings as well as those throughout the nonprofit and museum sector.

Alliance Resources

Deaccessioning Activity Guide

The Alliance shares an activity guide that facilitates discussion to determine how well a collections plan and collections management policy help make decisions about deaccessioning. The activity also assesses the appropriateness of deaccessioning and the decision-making process. The activity is one of many designed by the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) as part of the self-study process. It ranks highly with program participants and has been used in over 2,000 assessments.

Direct Care of Collections

The Alliance shares the full white paper on Direct Care of Collections as well as information on the Direct Care Task Force and other information related to using funds derived from the disposal of deaccessioned collections.

Other Resources


The National Park Service’s (NPS) Museum Handbook (PDF) has a chapter on deaccessioning. The 59-page chapter has an overview of the issues, details the decision-making process and required documentation, and discusses issues such as theft, destruction, abandonment, and hazardous objects. The chapter also includes flow charts and forms, such as those used for deaccession, transfer, exchange, and repatriation.

Policy on Deaccessioning

Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) shares its Policy on Deaccessioning (PDF, 12 pages). The policy includes a statement on the use of disposal proceeds.

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