Collection Donations

Questions about the collection or donating to the collection should be directed to our Curator of Collections, Cathy Baty at 410-848-6494 Ext. 203 or email to We ask that you please call before bringing your treasures for possible donation.

Acquisition Policies and Procedures

The Permanent Collection consists of objects acquired and accessioned for their historical and educational significance in interpreting the history of Carroll County as expressed in HSCC Mission Statement. The Collection includes three-dimensional objects, textiles, fine and decorative arts, photographs, newspapers, books, and manuscripts. HSCC makes continuing additions to the Permanent Collection to improve its quality and enhance its educational value. Thus, the Collection is not static but will continue to receive items which are consistent with HSCC’s mission. The Board, acting upon the recommendation of the Executive Director and Curator of Collections, accepts items with clear title into the collection and therewith acknowledges corporate responsibility for stewardship.

In the interest of expediency, the Board of Trustees delegates authority to accept objects into the Permanent Collection to HSCC’s Executive Director and Curator of Collections. No other members of HSCC’s staff or Board of Trustees may commit HSCC to the acceptance of objects for the Permanent Collection. The Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees is charged with oversight of acquisitions to the Permanent Collection and may conduct periodic reviews of acquisitions.

HSCC will consider items for acquisition and accessioning only if the following conditions are met:

  • The item is relevant to and consistent with HSCC’s purposes and mission and can be used in the foreseeable future for those purposes;
  • HSCC can adequately care for the item, assuring its preservation and availability for the Society’s purposes in accordance with professionally accepted standards;
  • The item comes with free and clear title and acceptable documentation as to origin and provenance, as far as can be reasonably ascertained;
  • HSCC intends to keep the item permanently in the collection as long as the item retains its physical integrity, authenticity, and usefulness for its purposes.

In addition to considering these requirements, the curatorial staff will weigh the item’s importance to the Collection and its condition, rarity, value, and copyright status before recommending acquisition.

HSCC complies with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and will not knowingly accept material that is in violation of that law.

HSCC will not knowingly accept material of illicit origin or doubtful title into the Collection and seeks to comply with the provisions of the Convention of the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (UNESCO Conventions) and all other relevant treaties. Should accessioned material later prove to be of questionable origin, HSCC will contact the appropriate authorities and attempt to resolve the problem ethically and in accordance with law.

HSCC acquires items for the Permanent Collection through gift, bequest, or purchase. As HSCC’s Collection must grow and change in response to changing needs, the HSCC generally accepts only unrestricted gifts. If in the judgment of the curatorial staff and the Collections Committee, and upon consultation with HSCC’s legal counsel, circumstances require the consideration of a restricted gift, the matter will be referred to the Board for a decision.

HSCC is not bound to accession any gift if the curatorial staff determines that the items do not warrant acceptance. The curatorial staff may refuse items outright if they find the material inappropriate for consideration. If an item inappropriate to HSCC’s collections, however, is of museum quality, the curatorial staff may suggest other suitable institutions to the donor.

HSCC will consider a gift of a group of items with the clear understanding that only those items deemed appropriate will be accessioned. The other items will be returned to the donor or disposed of properly with the concurrence of the donor or his or her legal representative.

HSCC is not bound to accession any bequest if the curatorial staff determines that the items do not warrant acceptance. HSCC may accept a bequest of a group of items with the clear understanding that only those items deemed appropriate will be accessioned. Items from a bequest which are not deemed appropriate for accession will be sold by HSCC at public sale or auction. All proceeds from such a sale will be placed in the Collections Acquisition & Conservation Fund.

The Collections Acquisition & Conservation Fund is a restricted fund maintained by HSCC for the purchase of objects for the Permanent Collection or the conservation of objects in the Collection. Donors may make cash contributions to the Fund. All monies realized from the sale of items deaccessioned from the Permanent Collection, or not accepted (either as a gift with approval of the donor or bequest) for the Collection, are placed in the Fund. HSCC may sponsor special events or projects that generate monies for the Fund. Any expenditure exceeding the balance in the Collection Fund will require approval by the Board of Trustees. With the approval of the Collections Committee, the curatorial staff may use monies from the Fund to purchase items for the Permanent Collection or contract for professional conservation treatment of Collection items. The Collections Committee will report all purchases to the Board.

No item will be accessioned until it has arrived at HSCC. A legal instrument of conveyance adequately describing the item and the conditions of transfer must accompany the gift or purchase. Once HSCC has acquired title to the object through a legal instrument of conveyance, the donor or seller no longer has any legal claim to the object. All items accepted into the Collection become the exclusive and absolute property of HSCC and, if unrestricted, may be displayed, loaned, retained, or disposed of in the best interests of HSCC and the public it serves. A list of each year’s accessions is included in the yearly report of the chairperson of the Collections Committee.

The evaluation of the monetary value of any item is not a function of staff. HSCC’s staff may not appraise or authenticate items for others, whether institutions or members of the general public. The staff may, however, establish values for HSCC’s own insurance policy. If the donor wishes an appraisal of donated items, the donor must arrange for an outside appraisal.

HSCC will provide the donor and Internal Revenue Service with any paperwork necessary to document a donation for taxes. In compliance with IRS regulations, HSCC requires that the donor relinquish control of, and all future interest in, the object before it is accepted for the Collection. HSCC will not verify any donation until it has both obtained good title to the object through an executed deed of gift and taken physical possession of the object.

Records relating to objects in the Permanent Collection are generated and maintained by the Curator of Collections. Original documents, such as deeds of gift, will be kept in secure, fireproof storage. A back-up copy of all electronic records will be kept in secure, fireproof storage on HSCC’s premises. A second copy of all electronic records will be kept off-site in a location designated by the Curator of Collections.

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