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MUSEUM COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT POLICIES

The American Association of Museums defines a collections management policy as "a written document, approved by the governing authority, which specifies the museums policies concerning all collections-related issues, including accessioning, documentation, storage, and disposition. Policies are general guidelines that regulate the activities of the organization. They provide standards for exercising good judgment."

A well thought out and conscientiously followed collections management policy is crucial to the effective and ethical operation of a museum that houses and maintains collections in the public trust. As as guide for mineral museums that are developing or revising their collections management policies, SMMP has undertaken to compile and make available for review policies submitted by its members. SMMP encourages continuing submission of such policy statements, which should be sent in electronic form to to Patty Frisch at plfrisch@nmt.edu or as hardcopy to Patty Frisch, NMBGMR NM Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801.

In addition, museums accredited by the American Association of Museums are required to follow the American Association of Museums Code of Ethics. You will notice that this code is referred to in several of the collections management policies provided below.

American Museum of Natural History
INSTITUTIONAL COLLECTIONS POLICY
DEPARTMENTAL COLLECTIONS POLICY

The American Museum is a natural history museum that comprises 42 exhibition halls, 5 scientific divisions staffed with 48 curators, and a total workforce of more than 1,200. The Halls of Mineral & Gems exhibit about 5,000 specimens from the collection of more than 100,000 mineral and gem specimens.  In addition the Hall of Meteorites features over 140 specimens from a collection representing >1,200 meteorites, and the Hall of Planet Earth presents 168 samples verging on "outcrop" scale from the research collection of more than 18,500 "rock" plus ~4,500 "ore" specimens. Admission ranges from $13 to $53 for a 9-day "city pass" or $55 and up for annual membership. Visitation is estimated at 4,000,000 people annually.
Institutional Website / Departmental Website

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
INSTITUTIONAL COLLECTIONS POLICY
DIGITAL COLLECTIONS POLICY

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is a Natural History museum with departments of Anthropology, Earth Sciences, Space Sciences, and Zoology. The Earth Sciences department has four curators in vertebrate paleontology, paleobotany/invertebrate paleontology & geology and one collections manager. The collection focuses on Mesozoic & Cenozoic vertebrates and plants from North America. The Earth Science collection has 132,000 specimens, of which 34,000 (~25%) are rocks, minerals, micromounts, and meteorites. Admission charges range from $10 for regular entry to $200 for an annual group pass for 8. Visitation is estimated at 1,200,000 people annually.
Institutional Website / Departmental Website

The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery
INSTITUTIONAL COLLECTIONS POLICY
The Hunterian is part of the University of Glasgow. It opened in 1807 and is the oldest surviving public museum in Scotland. The museum now houses over a million objects, including 120,000 rock & mineral specimens (plus over 25,000 thin sections), 1,500 cut gemstones, and 70 meteorites. Our extensive displays are geared to a general public audience, but the museum has close links with research and teaching in the University Earth Science department. Admission is free.
Institutional Website

National Museums & Galleries of Wales
INSTITUTIONAL COLLECTIONS POLICY
The National Museums & Galleries of Wales is a collection of museums, the Department of Geology focuses on paleontology, petrology, mineralogy and maintains a geological archive and library, with particular reference to Welsh geology. The Museum as a whole holds 4.7 million items/objects, of which Geology constitutes about 14%. The Geology department has 260,000 registered items and a further estimated 400,000 items at collections level, of this approximately 70,000 specimens are held in the Mineralogy & Petrology Sections. There are nine curators within the Department, with three curators and a Collection Manager in the Mineralogy & Petrology Section. Admission is free. Visitation is estimated at 300,000 people annually to the geological collections, 1,300,000 annual visitation total. 
Institutional Website / Departmental Website

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
INSTITUTIONAL COLLECTIONS POLICY
DEPARTMENTAL COLLECTIONS POLICY
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles has a collection of over 33 million specimens, the Mineral Sciences collection makes up 0.5% of the entire collection. The Mineral Sciences collection has ~140,000 minerals, of which about 100,000 are micromounts. The collection also includes 3,000 gems, 3000 rocks and ores, and ~50 meteorites. More than 2,000 specimens are on display in the museum's 7,500 sq. ft. Hall of Gems & Minerals. The museum's Gem & Mineral Council supports the Mineral Sciences Department and its collection. There is one full-time curator, one collections manager, and one half-time Gem & Mineral Council coordinator. Admission ranges from $2.00 (children) to $9.00 (adult). Annual museum membership is $50 (couples), $60 (families) and up. Annual dues for Gem & Mineral Council membership are $100, in addition to museum membership. Visitation is estimated at 650,000 people annually.
Institutional Website / Departmental Website

New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources Mineral Museum
INSTITUTIONAL COLLECTIONS POLICY
The primary focus of the NMBGMR Mineral Museum is on minerals from New Mexico and the US southwest, although samples from around the world are curated . The collection has ~16,000 minerals, 1,000 gems, 2,000 fossils, and 200 meteorites. There are two part-time curators and a full-time director. Admission is free, visitation is estimated at 15,000 people annually.
Departmental Website

New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
INSTITUTIONAL COLLECTIONS POLICY
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Sciences focus is on paleontology, while it does have several mineral cabinets. The collection has 46,000 specimen, of which 3,500 (~7.6%) are minerals. There are five curators. Admission ranges from $6.00 to $50 and higher for annual memberships. Visitation is estimated at 250,000 people annually.
Institutional Website

Weinman Mineral Museum
INSTITUTIONAL COLLECTIONS POLICY
The Weinman is a geology museum with 13 staff members. The collection has over 6000 mineral, fossils, gem and meteorite specimens, with a focus on Georgia minerals. Admission ranges from $3.00 (children) to $4.00 (adults). Annual memberships starts at $25.00. Visitation is an estimated 28,000 a year, approximately half being students participating in educational programs.
Institutional Website


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