Collections Manual

The MIT Museum has made its collection management policies available online. This document contains policies governing management of MIT Museum Collections.

The development of collections management policies and the maintenance of this document, and its accompanying procedure manual, are the responsibility of the Collections Manager, with significant assistance from members of the collections staff. All collections management policies must be approved by the Director. These policies are subject to comprehensive review every three years; however, recommendations for changes or additions may be made at any time to the Collections Manager and, upon approval from the Director, the policies will be revised and updated.

This resource has been instrumental to museum studies students interested in collection management and to professional colleagues seeking a model to replicate. The Collection Management Policies are available as PDF documents in chapters listed below.

For additional information about procedures and forms, contact the Registrar and Collections Manager at 617-253-4266 or

Access and use policies are summarized in the Research Services page.

I. Introduction (pdf)
Mission Statement and History
The Permanent Collections
Code of Ethics

II. Acquisition (pdf)
Core Collections History
Acquisition Decisions
Acquisition Criteria
Transfers of Institute Property

III. Deaccession (pdf)
Deaccession Decisions
Deaccession Criteria
Disposition of Deaccessioned Objects

IV. Loan (pdf)
Outgoing Loans
Incoming Loans
Campus loans

V. Care of Collections (pdf)
Standards of Care and Conservation
Record Keeping

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