Collections Management Policies

The National Galleries of Scotland has statutory responsibilities to care for, preserve and add to the objects in our collections, and to ensure that they are accessible to the broadest possible public. The National Galleries of Scotland Collections Management Policies set out the professional, legal and ethical standards by which we achieve this. They underpin all our collections activities and guide our decision-making, and will be formally reviewed every three years to ensure that they all remain relevant and up to date.

These policies are available as PDF documents on this page and are summarised below.

Object Entry and Pre-Entry Policy

We have a responsibility to make a realistic and open assessment of any object before it reaches us, to indicate its condition, and to fulfil our obligations to ensure that a vendor, donor or lender holds valid and legal title and has the rights of ownership of the object before we can accept it.

Loans In and Loans Out Policy

NGS ensures the objects in its care are exhibited and interpreted to the widest possible public, and is committed to increasing access to our collections and to providing information about them.

Acquisition Policy

NGS is committed to maintaining, developing and enriching our collection for exhibition, interpretation, education, and research, to the widest possible public.

Inventory Control Policy

NGS is accountable for all the objects and groups of objects in our care at all times. We maintain inventory records about these objects in order to provide up-to-date information about them, including ownership, location, condition and history.

Cataloguing Policy

NGS maintains detailed information for all objects or groups of objects in our care. These objects are usually part of the NGS collections but we may also maintain catalogue records for other objects such as long-term loans, short-term loans for NGS exhibitions where we are preparing catalogue entries, or non-NGS objects on our premises for which we are providing special curatorial expertise.

Location and Movement Control Policy

NGS maintains up-to-date location information for all objects or groups of objects in our care.

Art Handling and Technical Assessment Policy

NGS carries out skilled, safe and highly co-ordinated handling and technical assessment of objects or groups of objects in our care, as an integral component of our collections management. We monitor and expand on the audit trail of the object, and record technical and handling notes for future reference.

Conservation and Care Policy

NGS has a planned programme for the conservation, maintenance and care of all objects and object-parts or groups of objects in our collections.

Rights and Reproduction Management Policy

We ensure that NGS is authorised to use the works we own and can maximise the commercial potential of the objects and their associated images, and their accessibility to the widest possible audience, while respecting the rights of other individuals and organisations.

Risk Management Policy

National Galleries Scotland has a duty to safeguard all objects or groups of objects in our care, both in the NGS collection and objects for which NGS is temporarily responsible; and to ensure they do not compromise the safety of staff and visitors.

Insurance and Indemnity Management Policy

NGS ensures the objects in its care are exhibited and interpreted to the widest possible public, and is committed to increasing access to our collections. Loans to and from NGS form part of this programme, and we ensure that all objects for which we are responsible and/ or have a duty of care are appropriately insured or indemnified to fulfil all legal and statutory obligations.

Valuation Control Policy

NGS provides current valuations for objects in our care when required, including for insurance purposes and for exhibitions and loans out. We may also from time to time comment on values for bodies such as the National Fund for Acquisitions, the Arts Council, the Art Fund and for Heritage Lottery.

Physical Audit Policy

NGS carries out regular, scheduled audits of the objects, object-parts, accessories and groups of objects that are in our care.

Record Audit Policy

NGS carries out regular, scheduled audits of the records relating to objects, object-parts and groups of objects in our care.

Storage Management Policy

NGS provides storage spaces for objects and object-parts or groups of objects in our collections that are not on display, including objects that are being prepared for loan or exhibition; reserve collections; objects that are not normally displayed but are of interest for academic, educational or technical interest; new acquisitions during the process of expanding the collections.

Object Exit and Despatch Policy

The management of object exit and despatch enables us to ensure we can trace the custody of objects, make these objects available to other institutions, exercise control over the temporary or permanent departure of objects, including return to owners, and to provide evidence for audit, insurance and Government Indemnity (GIS).

Damage and Loss Policy

National Galleries Scotland is responsible for all the objects and groups of objects in its collections or in its care, and secures and protects them from damage or loss. To minimise the risk of damage or loss we carry out regular monitoring, and we have emergency plans and incident reporting procedures in place.

De-accession and Disposal Policy

In order to ensure the NGS collections remain manageable and sustainable and retain long-term interest for our public, we actively appraise and review objects to assess whether they reflect our collection policy; whether they are duplicates of another object that we own; whether we can provide adequate long-term care and access; and whether the objects might be better suited to being owned by another accredited museum, public body or group.

Retrospective Documentation Policy

NGS has a continuous process of improving incomplete, missing or inadequate records, and of producing new information on our collections to ensure that the information provided for our audiences is accurate, complete and up to date.