Collections Management Policy

The care and security of the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art's cultural collections are the responsibility of the program director and collection manager. Care of the collections encompasses proper handling of collections in storage and on exhibit, maintenance of proper storage facilities and conditions, controlled access to the collections and security procedures that ensure protection of the collections, establishment of a regular inventory system, and assessing and serving the conservation needs of the collections.

Professional curatorial practices will be followed at all times by any staff member handling objects from the collection or loaned objects.


  • No object will be stored or exhibited in a way that causes harm to the preservation of the object.
  • No object will be left in an open or unattended area.
  • Objects will be stored in the most professionally accepted manner available, employing archival materials.
  • Every effort will be made to protect materials from damage caused by light, moisture, and dust in the storage or exhibit areas. Lights in the storage area will be turned off when staff is not working in the area.
  • Collection storage and exhibition areas will be monitored monthly to assess the condition of the objects that might need curatorial maintenance. Acid-free and pest fumigation materials will be replaced as needed, and relative humidity and temperature checked.
  • All objects will be properly labeled with a number.
  • No object from the collection will be removed from either storage or exhibit without notifying the program director and/or collection manager. Storage and exhibit locations must be recorded.
  • To prevent the ethnographic and archaeological collections from vandalism and theft, the collections are kept in locked/alarmed storage environments. Collection room keys are issued only to select museum staff. The objects are not to be removed from storage without the knowledge and written consent from the program director and/or collection manager.

In the event of accidental damage to or loss of any object, the program director and collection manager are to be notified. If an object is determined to be missing, staff will begin an immediate on-site search. If the object cannot be found, the University Police Department and insurance agency will be notified and reports filed as required.

To assess damage and/or loss, collections are subjected to spot-check inventories and periodic comprehensive inventories.

A major inventory of the collection will be performed annually to assess needs for curatorial maintenance/conservation. Staff, under the supervision of the program director or collection manager, utilizing professionally accepted practices and procedures, will perform routine conservation care of the permanent collection. If the conservation needs of an object exceed the capabilities of the staff or the museum facilities, the program director will arrange for the treatment of the object through services of a professional conservator. Staff will not treat an object that is on loan without the lender's express knowledge and written consent.


All materials and associated documentation entering the museum will be permanently curated in archival-quality housing material. Existing collections will be upgraded as funds are available.

Transporting and Handling Guidelines

While objects are in transit, the following Transporting and Handling Guidelines apply:

  • Make sure object is clearly labeled as being a collection object. Attach a label indicating "Objects Below" on the outside of the container.
  • Make sure the recipient has been informed the object is in transit. The recipient's name and location should be noted on the outer container.
  • Leave the object only with the authorized recipient.
  • Get a receipt upon delivery. The receipts should be signed by the carrier and the recipient. One copy should be retained by the recipient, and the other returned to the sender.
  • Never transport objects without a protective housing and adequate support.
  • Never leave an object unattended for any reason while transporting.
  • Never place the object in an unheated or un-air-conditioned portion of a vehicle.
  • Do not treat collection objects as if they are mail or personal belongings when transporting them. Do not stuff them into briefcases, leave them in unattended vehicles, or expose them to takeout food or drinks.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke around the object.
  • Minimize handling. Know exactly where an object is to be located, and make sure the path is clear.
  • The use of gloves is required for handling all ethnographic material.
  • Always use both hands when handling objects.
  • Handle objects one at a time.
  • Never lift objects by handles or edges.
  • Moving objects on stands: Steady the artifact with one hand while holding the stand with the other.
  • Use a pencil when working around artifacts to avoid possible permanent ink damage.