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Permanent Collection

Permanent Collection Policy


Spiva is dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of information and materials primarily deriving from or relevant to the social and natural history of the Joplin, Missouri, area.


Spiva will only collect those objects of the above nature that it is able to care for and use in a manner acceptable to the museum profession at large. Spiva cannot engage in indiscriminate acquisition. Accessions must be the best available at the time, fill a recognized deficiency or upgrade existing collections, and be adequately documented as determined by the appropriate curator who maintains direct responsibility for his/her division.

Gifts to Spiva are considered outright and unrestricted donations to be used in the best interests of Spiva. Any exception, when required, may be made by the appropriate curator only with approval from the Director of Spiva (hereafter “The Director”). Donor must declare in writing that they have full ownership of the Property donated and have complete authority to make donation of the Property.

Spiva periodically changes exhibits. Therefore, no object can be considered on or for permanent exhibit. Accessioned objects may be used for exhibition, study, research, loan, examination, or deaccession.

Collections shall be available to the public in such a manner that the integrity and well-being of the collection will be best preserved. The care and safety of collections shall be the direct responsibility of the appropriate curator.

Donations to Spiva are tax deductible, but Spiva shall not appraise donated property for tax purposes. Spiva’s staff shall not appraise property as a service for visitors. For the protection and benefit of Donor, it is recommended that appraisals be accomplished by a qualified and disinterested third party before the item is conveyed to Spiva.


Objects which do not contribute to the purpose and goals of Spiva are liabilities and subject to removal from the collections. Possible examples are duplicate, irrelevant, or badly deteriorated items. The ownership of any item by Spiva must be established before the item may be deaccessioned.

In order to improve existing collections, make maximum best use of available space, and best serve the public interest, the appropriate curator may propose to The Director that an object or objects be removed from the collections. The Director shall have the authority to approve deaccession action. If in The Director’s judgment there is a question concerning the intrinsic or cultural value of the item(s) proposed for deaccession, then he/she may refer the matter to Spiva’s Board of Directors (hereafter “The Board”) for approval of deaccession action (in the case of the Archives, this statement applies only to catalogued materials).

Deaccessioned items may be removed to the expendable collections, traded to other institutions, or conveyed to other museums or educational institutions. Deaccessioned items may be sold only with specific approval of The Board.

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