Once an item or collection has been added to the collection, it can only be removed following rigorous procedures established to protect the collection’s integrity. The process, called deaccessioning, requires the approval of the appropriate curator, the Collections Committee and the trustees of the association. An item may be deaccessioned, for example, because it is damaged beyond repair, has a condition that puts other parts of the collection at risk, are duplicative of other items in the collection, or is outside the scope of the collection. Deaccessioned material may be donated to another museum or cultural or educational organization, destroyed, or sold. Any proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned material are placed in a restricted collection acquisition fund.
The Archives & Research Center often receives donations of large amounts of materials. During the processing of the collection, staff selects materials to add to the collection. The remainder will be returned to the donor, given to a more appropriate repository, destroyed, or sold, with the proceeds used to purchase items the archives needs.