Select Page

Found in the Collection: Orphans, Old Loans and Abandoned Property On-line Course

SKU: ms303


Instructor: Sarah Kapellusch
Please list the participant's email address
If you are enrolling more than one person, just add the class to the cart again (and fill out this section for each user)
Product total
Options total
Grand total


Every museum has a few stray items. Some lost tags long ago. Others turn up as surprises during inventories. A few are all that remain from long-ago exhibits. While you’ll want to keep some, others may be deteriorating. Even worse, some pose significant hazards for staff and the rest of the collection. All raise legal and professional questions. How do you deal with objects that have no records? Or loans from unidentified or deceased lenders? Found in the Collection addresses how to identify abandoned objects and old loans. It further covers the application of state laws and rules for identifying owners or establishing ownership.

Course Outline:

1. Introduction

2. Definitions and legislation

3. Identification and process – Abandoned property and ‘Found in the Collection’

4. Identification and process – Old Loans

5. Systems to regulate future problems

6. Conclusion


Optional Textbook: Malaro, Marie C. and Ildiko Pogány De Angelis. 2012. A Legal Primer on Managing Museum Collections. Third edition. Smithsonian Books, xx + 540 pages, available from Northern States Conservation Center

Additional information

Course Date