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Collections Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy sets out the key authorities and responsibilities for managing the Charles Sturt University art, archives and library collections and supports compliance with the:

  1. Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021, standard 3
  2. State Records Act 1998 (NSW)
  3. Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program
  4. Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 (Cth)
  5. Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 (Cth)
  6. COM Code of Ethics for Museums 2004
  7. Conventions and Recommendations of UNESCO concerning the Protection of Cultural Heritage 1983/85


(2) This policy:

  1. applies to collections owned and managed by the University,
  2. does not apply to research data, active University records, specialised equipment collections.
  3. does not apply to partner institution libraries and collections.
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Section 2 - Policy

University collections

(3) University collections are managed by the Division of Library Services to:

  1. support responsible use of University finances,
  2. ensure compliance with relevant legislation and licence agreements,
  3. ensure appropriate care and management of materials by qualified and experienced staff,
  4. optimise access to and use of resources, and
  5. minimise duplication and waste.

(4) In limited circumstances, organisational units may be authorised to establish and manage a local collection for a specific cohort of staff or students. Establishment of a local collection must be approved by the University Librarian.

Acquisition of collection materials

(5) Collection development principles and selection criteria are applied to ensure collections support the University’s learning, teaching and research requirements; showcase and promote institutional history, scholarship and achievements; and enable engagement within the University and with the broader community. See the:

  1. Collections Procedure – University Art Collection [in development]
  2. Collections Procedure – Charles Sturt University Regional Archives [in development]
  3. Library collection development principles.

(6) The acquisition of collection material must be consistent with other University policies, including the Philanthropic Donations and Gifts Received Policy and the expenditure principles set out in the Finance Management Policy.

(7) For the art and archive collections, transfer of clear legal title (to the University and not an individual or organisational unit) is generally required for all objects of collectable or intrinsic value permanently acquired. In limited circumstances, a long-term loan or deposit may be accepted.

Management of collections

(8) The University’s collections will be managed according to relevant legislation, industry standards, and best practices, as set out in the supporting procedures and associated information.

(9) The Charles Sturt Regional Archives, as a regional archives centre, has custody of State archives that are under control of the NSW State Archives and Records Agency and private archive collections, as well as University’s archives (including those from precursor institutions). Management of archival collections will be in accordance with the University’s obligations under the State Records Act 1998.

(10) The University seeks to make collections and collection spaces culturally safe and to engage with the appropriate First Nations communities on the management of the collections when they relate to First Nations peoples, cultures, languages and/or heritage.

Collection access

(11) Collection custodians may define processes and rules for ensuring collections are accessible, and electronic and digital content is delivered in accordance with relevant licensing agreements.

(12) Each collection will normally preference acquisition models that allow the broadest possible access. However, access will be balanced with the need to limit disclosure due to equity, security, confidentiality, cultural sensitivity, preservation, copyright, licensing and/or archival access considerations.


(13) The University deselects, de-accessions and/or disposes of the collection materials in accordance with best practice procedures and industry standards, and as set out in the supporting procedures and associated information.

(14) Deaccessioning artworks acquired through the Cultural Gifts Program will comply with the deductible gift recipient endorsement granted by the Australian Tax Office to the Charles Sturt University Art Collection gift fund and the requirements of Taxation Ruling TR2000/10.

Responsibilities and authorities

(15) See Delegation Schedule A - Governance and Legal and Delegation Schedule C - Finance for authorities relating to collections, including authorities to:

  1. approve library service agreements,
  2. accept donations,
  3. approve inclusion of resources in the library collection,
  4. sign and terminate licences for online library resources,
  5. approve purchase of faculty/office copies of books and materials.

(16) Other authorities and responsibilities established by this policy include the following:

  1. Collection custodians may establish access requirements and rules for collections.

(17) University collection custodians are:

Collection  Budget Centre Manager/Band 7 authority  Collection Custodian 
University art collection University Librarian Art Curator
Charles Sturt University Regional Archives University Librarian Manager, Charles Sturt University Regional Archives & University Art Collection
University library collection University Librarian Manager, Collection Services
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Section 3 - Procedures

(18) The following procedures support this policy:

  1. Collections Procedure – University Art Collection [in development]
  2. Collections Procedure – Charles Sturt University Regional Archives [in development]
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Section 4 - Guidelines and other resources

(19) Library collection development principles.

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Section 5 - Glossary

(20) For the purpose of this policy, the following terms are used:

  1. Acquisition – means the process of acquiring collection material, which may include:
    1. taking legal possession and ownership of an item by means of purchase, donation (including donations made under the Cultural Gifts Program), bequest, gift, a commission paid, transfer or exchange, or
    2. by means of a loan, licence or subscription.
  2. Archives - means the non-current records of an organisation, institution or individual that have been appraised and selected for preservation because they have continuing or permanent value. In the case of the University and precursor institutions, this value may be administrative, legal, research or historical in nature.
  3. Art collection – means the works of art collected, purchased, gifted to and/or commissioned by the University (or precursor) institution. May include paintings, works on paper, murals, sculptures, textiles and decorative art.
  4. Collection – when used without a modifying adjective, means collectively the University’s art, archive and library collections held for the benefit of the University and users because of teaching and learning, research, historical, cultural and or scientific significance and/or rarity.
  5. Cultural Gifts Program – means the program administered by the Commonwealth Government that offers tax incentives to encourage people to donate cultural items to Australian public collections and which is managed under the gift provisions in Australia's income tax law.
  6. Deaccession – means the process by which an archive permanently removes accessioned materials from its holdings. 
  7. Deselection– means the permanent removal of materials from a collection.
  8. Library collection – the print, electronic and other resources, including special collections managed by the Division of Library Services.
  9. Local collection – means small collections of books or other information resources acquired and maintained by an organisational unit for use by a specific cohort (e.g. psychology test library or collections of laboratory handbooks).