Course:2: Acquiring Your Collections
Lesson:Lesson 1: What Is a Collection Policy and What Does It Do?
Topic:Do We Really Need a Collection Policy?


Do We Really Need a Collection Policy?

When an organization accepts materials that aren't "quite" within its collecting scope, it is taking resources away from other materials that are within its scope.  Without a collection policy, your organization may find that:

  • It is competing with other repositories for similar material while no one collects other valuable materials.
  • It is using valuable resources on collections that aren't relevant to its mission.
  • Its collections lack cohesion, and aren't as useful to researchers as they could be.

When your program accepts an historical records collection, it is making a commitment to take care of it and provide access to it permanently. This implies an ongoing commitment of resources, even if materials that are more important to you are added later. 

Bethleham Town Hall
A collection policy helps you determine whether or not you can commit the resources needed for proper care of materials--and whether they fit your mission.