Collections Management Policies

Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum

Prince William Sound Community College

Collections Management Policies

These policies have been established to provide the staff guidance to insure that the museum’s collection remains consistent with its purpose and responsibilities.

Mission Statement

The Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum strives to foster a thirst for knowledge and appreciation of the value of historic and cultural arts and artifacts, as well as the natural world, through the eyes of our founding collectors.


Support Prince William Sound Community College, its students, and its instructors as a resource in educational pursuits

Safeguard the valuable natural history and cultural heritage materials entrusted to us by Maxine Whitney, for future generations

Ensure that the collection is displayed and available for instructional and research purposes, in keeping with the mission of an educational institution, and within the boundaries of the safety and security of the collection.

Offer cultural and educational programming for the community, relevant to the collection and the questions brought up within its framework.

Collection Management Policies


The permanent collection of the Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum includes artifacts and archival materials which were collected by Maxine Whitney and donated to Prince William Sound Community College.

The Museum maintains a Teaching Collection. The Teaching collection is to be used for demonstration purposes as well as hands-on educational opportunities. These items may either be purchased by the Museum or accepted by donors, through transfer of ownership documentation, for the express purpose of a Teaching Collection, with full understanding that they may be expendable. These items may also be deaccessioned items from the permanent collection which have been removed from the permanent collection due to their poor or moderate condition and value or repetitive nature, as approved by the President of PWSCC.

Acquisition/ Accessioning

The Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum is a non-collecting museum at this time. Without collection storage, curatorial staffing, or further display space, the museum cannot ethically accept further donations for display in the permanent collection. The collection is meant as a unit, encompassing items collected by Maxine & Jesse Whitney and displayed in its entirety, or a reasonable percentage thereof, excluding duplicate objects. No further artifacts shall be acquired for the permanent collection, except through the founding collector, Maxine Whitney, either herself or through her heirs. All items acquired will be accessioned into the Museum’s PastPerfect Software, for tracking, future identification, and accountability.

All Whitney Museum acquisitions will comply with the State of Alaska and Federal laws governing antiquities, and natural resources, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Agreement and any laws and ordinances pertaining to ownership or sale of endangered or protected wildlife materials.  Objects and informational materials collected under exploitative, irresponsible or illegal circumstances and, in particular, archeological materials collected in an unscientific manner will not be acquired.

De accession:

An artifact may de deaccessioned and disposed of if it is found by a professional conservator, curator, or collection manager, and approved by the President of PWSCC, to be in non compliance of the NAGPRA, in which case it would be transferred to the appropriate Native party. An artifact may also be deaccessioned if it was collected after the donation of the collection to PWSCC, is not related to Maxine Whitney’s original collection, is inconsistent with the Museum’s purposes; or is, after inspection by a conservator, deemed beyond saving or as a danger to other artifacts.  De accessioning of an item will be recommended by a qualified curator, and must be approved by the President of PWSCC. No item shall be sold or transferred to a private party or member of the staff (paid or volunteer) of the Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum, PWSCC, or the University of Alaska. Such items may be transferred to the Teaching Collection and used as an expendable educational resource. Transfer or exchange with other historical organizations is the preferred method of disposing of de accessioned objects and materials.

Further, any items having been already accepted by the museum outside of the scope of the original Maxine Whitney donation may be, on the decision of the President of PWSCC, returned to their original owner, if the owner requests. Any such items which are kept in the museum’s collection will be properly labeled as not having been part of the original Whitney collection.


Artifacts from the permanent collection may be loaned for temporary exhibit to another museum or recognized cultural organization. Loans are for a time period of one year, unless by the discretion of the President of PWSCC, and may be renewed, if agreed upon by both parties. Any materials loaned to another museum or organization shall have proper and thorough documentation and contract, outlining terms of condition, scheduled return date, treatment, and display thereof. The borrower must abide by all insurance requirements as laid out in the University of Alaska Board of Regents policy (Insert policy info here). Items from the Teaching Collection may be loaned, at the discretion of the Collections manager, to educators within the PWSCC faculty and kept on campus, for use in a PWSCC course of study. The period of loan is one month and is renewable.


Museum staff will not make appraisal of any item’s financial value, whether it be a museum item or an item belonging to a private citizen. Museum item valuations should not be discussed openly, for ethical and loss prevention reasons. Any appraisal for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor. Valuations of the Museum’s collection are strictly for insurance purposes and will follow the guidelines of the University’s insurance provider.


Any access to the collection for the purpose of research must be approved by and supervised by a qualified member of the museum staff. Access may be limited regarding fragile or otherwise sensitive material. Researchers must handle all items in the manner instructed by the museum staff and observe all security regulations. Researchers assume full responsibility for any damage, accidental or otherwise. Researchers must appropriately acknowledge, footnote, or credit the museum for any information derived from the collection. Researchers must share any knowledge gained from the study of a museum object with the museum and allow use of such information in furthering the educational value of the collection.


Photographs or video taping of the museum objects may be used for personal use only unless written permission has been given by the museum or the college president. Any publication of a photograph or visual file taken of a museum object must give credit to the museum and college, worded as “property of the Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum/ PWSCC.”  The museum shall receive a copy of this publication without charge.