Documentation should answer the following questions for all objects in your collections: What is this object? Where did it come from? What has happened to it? Who owns it? Without proper documentation, your institution may have difficulty proving legal ownership of the objects entrusted in its care. In this module, you will learn how legal ownership is commonly documented in various collections. Also discover what you can do with objects here in Florida that are considered abandoned or “found in collection.”


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Discussion Questions
During the documentation webinar you learned about many different methods of documenting your collection. But regardless of the documentation method, it is always imperative to prove that your institution has free and clear title to each object.

  • Why is this so important?
  • If you find out you own objects without a clear title, what are your next steps?

During the documentation webinar, we discussed the importance of keeping good records for longevity.

  • How do you manage the cataloging of your collections management database?
  • How are your paper records stored?
  • What cataloging standards does your institution use?

Utilizing the game spinner have each participant take a turn at the spinner.  Read the question or topic to the group and discuss among the group. Use examples from your policy or institution. 


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Online Resources
Texas State Library and Archives Commission, CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries

2012 Florida Statutes 265.565, Museum Loans

National Park Service (NPS), Museum Handbook, Part 2: Museum Records, Chapter 1: Documenting Museum Collections

Society of American Archivists, A Guide to Deeds of Gift

Society of American Archivists, Guidelines for Reappraisal and Deaccessioning

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