View Current

Collections Procedure - University Art Collection

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Collections Policy by setting out administrative functions, purchasing and recording procedures, deaccession and disposal protocols, and major acquisition areas for the Charles Sturt University (the University) art collection.


(2) This procedure applies to:

  1. all artworks loaned to, purchased by, or donated to, any University organisational unit
  2. the Art Curator and any casual art collection employees. The Art Curator reports directly to the Manager, Charles Sturt University Regional Archives & University Art Collection, who is also the University art collection’s budget centre manager. Management of the art collection and the functions outlined in this procedure are the responsibility of the Art Curator.
Top of Page

Section 2 - Policy

(3) This procedure supports the Collections Policy and should be read alongside that policy.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Procedure

University art collection

(4) The objectives of the University art collection are to serve the University and its regional communities through the establishment of a quality collection of artwork and contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the campuses for students, staff and visitors.

(5) The University art collection should be utilised for display, research, teaching and learning purposes. Liaison within the University, as well as with the regional, museum and media communities should be prioritised, to develop relationships that will contribute to building a stronger collection and making the works themselves known to these communities.

(6) The University art collection may operate a merchandising enterprise to market publications, reproductions of works in the collection, etc. in accordance with University policy and procedures for business enterprises.

Purchasing and acquisition of artwork

(7) The Art Curator will identify works for acquisition and can, where appropriate, seek expert advice external to the University.

(8) The Art Curator will consult with the budget centre manager in writing in order to gain approval to bid for or purchase artwork.

(9) The acquisition of artwork must be in accordance with the below criteria in order to build on strengths within the art collection, while developing a body of contemporary work that is relevant to a modern regional university. The major areas of collecting include (but are not limited to):

  1. works by prominent Australian artists (by birth or residency) active from the 1930s onwards
  2. works by artists who have or have had some connection with the University or its regional communities
  3. work by contemporary Australian artists with an emphasis on First Nations works. 
  4. portraits of persons of specific significance to the University, painted by artists whose work will strengthen and enhance the existing art collection
  5. outdoor sculptures that will complement and enhance the differing environments of the University's campuses
  6. works by prominent contemporary artists whose work will strengthen and enhance the existing art collection. Priority will be given to artists’ prints.

(10) All artworks purchased by, or donated to, any University organisational unit are deemed to be the property of the University and subject to management by University art collection staff. Clear legal title is required by the University.

(11) All loans of artwork to the University must be made to the University not to any individual or to any organisational unit. Loan documentation must conform to requirements laid down in the Collections Policy. The University Art Curator is responsible for managing all artworks on loan to the University.


(12) The University is required to maintain records of all artwork irrespective of value. Proper records management in the areas of acquisition, accessioning and loan documentation must accord with best practice industry standards.

  1. Complete and up-to-date details of all works in the University art collection will be documented in the collection management system (EMu), maintained by the Art Curator in order to facilitate effective management of the collection. Metadata is to be recorded at a standard commensurate with other University collections of comparable size and quality.
  2. The Art Curator is responsible for entering the details of all assets in the EMu collection management system, and for preparing a separate database for artworks acquired through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts Cultural Gifts Program in compliance with Taxation Ruling TR 2000/10.

(13) The University has determined that works of art are not to be depreciated.

(14) All requisitions raised for the purchase of works of art, regardless of value, must be assigned the correct account code (434—Purchase of Works of Art).

(15) The Art Curator will attach identifying labels to each artwork, as soon as practical after the work is delivered. These labels are to assist in identification or work during stock takes.

(16) The Art Curator is responsible for maintaining records detailing the whereabouts of all works in the art collection, whether on loan or otherwise.

(17) Loans of artwork to the University, and loans of artwork from the University art collection to other institutions, will be documented, ensuring that the terms and conditions of each loan are specified in writing, include the proposed duration of the loan, and outline all responsibilities for preservation, security and insurance.

(18) Appropriate recordkeeping facilitates the implementation of a long term program based on accepted museum standards for the conservation, safe storage, exhibition, and transport of the collection, so as to maintain it in good order.


(19) When considering the deaccessioning of an artwork, the University must weigh carefully the interests of the scholarly and cultural communities, the donor’s intent in the broadest sense, and the institution’s own financial wellbeing.  

(20) Deaccessioning artworks acquired through the Cultural Gifts Program will be in compliance with Taxation Ruling TR 2000/10. These works are accepted on the basis that they will form part of the permanent collection of the University.

(21) Gifts acquired under the Cultural Gifts Program must not be returned to the donor, as they have already received the benefit of the tax deduction of the gift.

(22) No work shall be deaccessioned unless it has been in the collection for five years, so as to safeguard against mistaken assessment of recent purchases.

(23) The Art Curator may identify works for deaccessioning and can seek appropriate external expert advice if required.

(24) The Art Curator will prepare written documentation for each work being deaccessioned, including a valuation, giving a reasoned recommendation stating why the work should be formally withdrawn from the collection. Copies of expert advice (where provided) will be included in the documentation.

(25) The documentation will include the Art Curator's recommendation on disposal and address the following deaccessioning criteria:

  1. The work is not of an original nature.
  2. The work is damaged beyond repair and/or the cost of restoration exceeds the historical, cultural, artistic, and/or monetary value of the work.
  3. The work falls outside the guidelines of the acquisition procedure and is therefore not relevant to the collection, or useful for research, teaching and learning purposes.
  4. The work is a lesser quality duplicate of an object already in the collection.
  5. The work lacks any supporting information to enable proper identification or to establish its relevance to the collection.
  6. The work is the subject of a substantiated claim by First Nations people for the restitution of sacred material.

(26) Recommendations for deaccessioning, together with advice on approved methods of disposal, should be forwarded to the Manager, Charles Sturt University Regional Archives & University Art Collection for consideration. The Manager may seek appropriate external advice before forwarding for approval to the University Librarian, Division of Library Services.

(27) A waiting period of twelve months between approval of deaccessioning and actual disposal shall be observed to safeguard against mistaken assessment. Staff with responsibility for management of the collection may at any time during this period seek a review by the University Librarian; and, in the event that agreement cannot be reached, have the matter referred to the Vice-Chancellor, or the Vice-Chancellor’s nominee, for adjudication.

(28) Staff of the University and its business enterprises, members of the University Council and voluntary workers, together with members of their families, are prohibited from purchasing or otherwise acquiring a deaccessioned work.

(29) Any funds acquired from the disposal of the deaccessioned work shall be used for the benefit of the University art collection.


(30) The University requires that adequate records be maintained regarding the disposal of all assets. Artworks are recorded in the EMu collection management system maintained by the Art Curator.

(31) To remove an artwork from the art collection an asset disposal authority must be completed by the Art Curator, accompanied by approval from the art collection’s budget centre manager.

(32) Requests for the disposal of artwork(s) shall be lodged only after approval for deaccessioning has been granted in accordance with this procedure. When approving recommendations for deaccessioning, the Manager, Charles Sturt University Regional Archives & University Art Collection shall also approve the method of disposal to be adopted in each case.

(33) Disposal approvals will be in accordance with the Division of Finance's asset disposal processes and delegations.

(34) Once this approval has been obtained the form shall be returned to the Art Curator who shall undertake the necessary action to dispose of the work(s) in accordance with the method approved.

(35) The approved methods of disposal (except for artworks acquired through the Cultural Gifts Program) include:

  1. Returned: If the work has been donated, rather than purchased, it should preferably be returned to the donor or family of the donor. If, after a thorough search, this proves to be impossible, the artwork should be disposed of using one of the following methods.
  2. Transferred: To another appropriate institution.
  3. Sold: Works originally purchased by the University or its precursor institutions should preferably be sold. The University should ensure that the mode of sale is such as will realise the current market value as stipulated by the Art Curator or advised by external experts. The method of sale will be dependent on the estimated value of the artwork and would be decided upon by the Art Curator in consultation with the Financial Accountant (Assets) and external expert advice as required.
  4. Destroyed or recycled: Works that fall outside these guidelines or are deemed to have no commercial value may be destroyed or recycled. The destruction of the work will depend on the media. If safely combustible, the artwork shall be burnt in the presence of the Art Curator and an independent reliable witness. This action will be documented.

(36) The Art Curator will certify that the disposal has taken place and enter full details in the appropriate sections of the form, the EMu collection management system and such other records as existing collection management procedures may prescribe.

(37) Records relating to the disposal of artworks in accordance with this procedure will be retained permanently by the University.

(38) Proceeds from the sale of artworks in accordance with this procedure will be used for the benefit of the University art collection.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Guidelines

(39) Nil.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Glossary

(40) For the purpose of this procedure, the following terms are used:

  1. Deaccession – means the administrative process by which an artwork is permanently removed from the art collection.
  2. Disposal – means to physically remove an artwork from the art collection permanently. The most common methods being sale, gift, exchange, or destruction.
  3. Merchandising enterprise – means the art collection may advertise, promote and sell catalogues and publications related to, and detailing works, within the collection, in accordance with University policies and procedures.