It shall be the policy of the Pioneer Heritage Center to acquire, maintain, conserve, display, and dispose of historic personal property comprising structures, memorabilia, decorative arts, fine arts, manuscripts, books, photographs, and furniture, all hereinafter referred to as "objects," and antiquities significant to Northwest Louisiana history and culture, in accordance with the following policy.
Acquisition of Objects
Objects may be acquired by the Pioneer Heritage Center in the following ways:
- Act of Donation (Deed of Gift) or Bequest. objects may be accepted for accessioning to the permanent collection of the Center if such objects are significant to the history of the region as defined in the Center's statement of purpose. Objects may also be accepted for use in the educational collections, for resale, or for utilitarian purposes. Potential donors and estate executors shall be informed in a straightforward manner of the intended use for which the Center will accept an object, and the act of donation shall reflect the terms of the acceptance. The Pioneer Heritage Center shall not accept gifts that are unreasonably restricted and may refuse any object offered for donation.
- Purchase. Objects may be purchased in accordance with procurement policies and regulations of Louisiana State University in Shreveport, when and only when sufficient funds are budgeted or private donations are in hand to cover the cost.
- Found or abandoned objects. Abandoned or discarded objects that are useful as museum objects, utilitarian objects, or educational objects, may be acquired by the museum as found. Any object deposited at the Pioneer Heritage Center site without prior approval of the Director, and without a formal act of donation, shall be considered abandoned property.
- Loan. It shall be the general policy of the Pioneer Heritage Center not to accept any object on long-term or indefinite loan. No loan agreement may exceed the term of one year. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Director.
- Valuation. Valuations of objects offered for donation are for museum use only, and will not be provided to donors. Objects in a collection will be made available to the collection donor's appraiser by arrangement with the museum director, provided the appraisal is completed within one year of the date of donation of the collection to PHC.
- Recording acquisitions. All museum objects will be registered and catalogued in accordance with the collections procedures manual in current use by the Pioneer Heritage Center.
- Museum Objects. Museum objects will be displayed for the public benefit or retained in storage for potential display. Objects may be removed from display at the discretion of the Director of designated staff.
- Educational Objects. Objects used in the educational programs of the Center will be reproductions or one of multiple objects of like kind in the collections. Rare or fragile objects will not be used as educational objects.
- Utilitarian and Non-Museum objects. Non-museum objects may be used in a functional manner in any Pioneer Heritage Center properties, offices or other places approved by the Director.
- Borrowing and Lending Objects. The Pioneer Heritage Center may borrow or lend objects for exhibition or other approved purposes according to accepted professional museum practices, ensuring responsible care and return of borrowed or loaned objects according to the conditions stipulated in a formal loan agreement entered into between the borrower and the lender. Collections of objects borrowed as a traveling exhibit from an authorized agency or another museum will be used and displayed in accordance with the specifications of the contract with the lending or contracting agency.
- Care and Conservation. It shall be the policy of the Pioneer Heritage Center to develop and adhere to a conservation plan for the objects in its collections, in accordance with accepted museum standards.
- Storage. The Pioneer Heritage Center shall maintain adequate storage space for museum objects in a properly controlled environment.
- Security. It is the responsibility of the University to protect and insure objects owned and objects received on loan from theft, fire or other loss or damage in accordance with University policy and practice.
- Archival materials. The Pioneer Heritage Center may, with the consent of the donor and the agreement of the director of the library and/or the director of the archives, transfer any archival or library materials received in donated collections to the University Library or Archives, so that the materials will be in a responsible repository accessible to the public.
The Pioneer Heritage Center shall maintain complete acquisition, inventory, conservation and disposal records, loan and borrowing agreements, documents and correspondence relating to its museum and non-museum objects, in accordance with accepted museum practices as set forth in the PHC procedures manual.
The decision to dispose of any object in the Pioneer Heritage Center is the responsibility of the Director. The manner of disposition will be determined in accordance with ethical and sound museum practices, and after thorough research into legal and ethical restrictions. Objects may be disposed of through sale, exchange with another museum, gift to another museum, or return to the donor. Objects to be disposed of, which have been accessioned into the collections, will be deaccessioned in accordance with the procedures outlined in the collections manual.
The Pioneer Heritage Center Director shall be responsible for issuing procedural guidelines for the implementation of this policy.