insuring collections/FIC and undocumented objects

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      Charlene Martin

      Good afternoon all –

      I’ve just started as an archivist/museum collection manager of a small historic museum after graduating with my MLS and concentration in archives. I have only a small amount of coursework in collections management. I have been asked to determine what special insurance the entire collection should be insured for. Currently everything is covered without special riders.


      Within the last 6 months and before I was hired, my small historic museum inventoried their collection for the first time since they began collecting over 40 yrs ago. They assigned tracking numbers to undocumented objects that are basically accession numbers for this year. There are no identified donors, no identified appraisal values. This is the collection they would like to insure.


      Has anyone had experience with insuring a collection like this? Do I need to worry about the NYS law 233a-233aa re: posting in newspapers/Unclaimed Funds Registry, or was that specific to the NYS Museum only?


      I was thinking I could perform an informal collection survey, identify items of probable highest value, have them appraised, and then use that value as the highest probable loss. Does that sound like a viable solution?


      Thank you for your advice and patience with my lack of knowledge re: collections management!

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