Philadelphia Stewardship Program Track 4: Collections Management Policies

“Although it is often referred to as a single document, in practice the collections management policy is actually a set of policies that address various aspects of collections management, including acquisition, accession, registration, cataloging, control, security, and storage….Together, these policies clarify who is responsible for managing collections.”

Things Great and Small
John E. Simmons, American Association of Museums, 2006

Through Track 4 of the Philadelphia Stewardship Program, the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) is offering expertise and assistance to museums, libraries, archives, and other collecting institutions with the development or revision of collections management policies. Policy documents provide the framework upon which many collections and preservation decisions are made. Institutions participating in Track 4 will work with CCAHA staff on the process of developing a set of collections management policies or revising current policies. The goal of establishing policies is to aid institutions in creating consistency in day-to-day operations, to ensure stability at times of change, and create documents that will inform decision-making at all levels of the institution.

Institutions participating in the program will be asked to choose three policy areas for concentration over the course of the program. Some examples of policies include:

  • Collections Management Policy (acquisition, deaccession, documentation, loan, access)
  • Handling and Use Policy
  • Care & Maintenance (conservation, storage, environment, inventory)
  • Exhibition Policy
  • Housekeeping Policy
  • Security Policy
  • Integrated Pest Management Program

Upon completion, all policies must be Board approved.

Participants in Track 4 of CCAHA’s Philadelphia Stewardship Program are eligible to receive a free 1-2 hour consultation with CCAHA’s Director of Development specifically about development, resource allocation, and fundraising to implement preservation strategies.

Criteria for Participation

To be considered for participation in Track 4 of CCAHA's Philadelphia Stewardship Program, an organization must be located within the counties of Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia, and have a historic collection available to the public.  

The program requires a commitment throughout the rest of 2022. A staff member must be identified who will work with the CCAHA consultant. Preference will be given to organizations that: 
•    have collections that are unique or of significant historical or artifactual value; and
•    demonstrate a willingness to develop and maintain a preservation program.

Track 4 of the Philadelphia Stewardship Program is intended for organizations that have completed a preservation needs assessment survey within the last 10 years.  Organizations that do not have a preservation needs assessment survey that reflects current conditions should contact CCAHA to discuss participation in Track I of the program.

Application Process

Applications for the Philadelphia Stewardship Program are currently closed.


Established in 1977, the mission of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) is to provide expertise and leadership in the preservation of the world’s cultural heritage. CCAHA is a non-profit conservation laboratory serving other non-profit cultural, educational, and research institutions, as well as private individuals and organizations.  CCAHA specializes in the treatment of works of art and historic artifacts on paper. It also offers on-site consultation services; educational programs and seminars; internships, fellowships, and apprenticeships; and emergency conservation assistance.

The Philadelphia Stewardship Program is funded by the William Penn Foundation which strives to improve the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that foster rich cultural expression, strengthen children’s futures, and deepen connections to nature and community. In partnership with others, the William Penn Foundations works to advance a vital, just, and caring community.