Policies & Loans

Collections Management Policy

The UAMN Collections Management Policy establishes policies and guidelines for the acquisition, deaccession, loan, care, and use of the collections at the Museum.

Collections Access Policy

The Ethnology & History Department welcomes appropriate use of all the collections in its care. We endeavor to encourage use of the collections for research and education while ensuring the preservation of the collections for future generations of scholars and students. Access to the ethnological & historic collections is granted to researchers with clear research goals and institutional affiliations for legitimate research and educational purposes only. Some of the specimens in the collections are of a highly sensitive nature and access to these collections may be restricted. Access to the collections is subject to the University of Alaska Museum of the North (UAMN) Collections Management Policy and the Ethnology & History Department Collections Access Policy.


Loans are temporary transfers of objects from one institution to another in which there is no transfer of ownership. The Museum sends and receives loans for the purposes of exhibition, research (including destructive sampling, conservation, or study), or education. UAMN will exercise the same care of objects received on loan as it does in safekeeping its own objects.

All requests for loans from the ethnology & history collection must be made in writing to the curator or collections manager.


The ethnology & history department acquires objects for its permanent collection through a number of means, including: donation, purchase, bequest, exchange, field collecting, or transfer. Objects proposed for acquisition must be reviewed and approved by the Acquisitions Committee. These objects must support the mission of the museum, should be structurally stable, and be capable of being stored, preserved, and used in perpetuity. In addition, objects should support the departmental collecting goals, as outlined in the ethnology & history collections plan.

Objects that no longer meet the museum's mission, have degraded beyond repair, pose an unacceptable hazard to personnel or to other collection, or fit one of the other categories outlined in the Collections Management Policy, may be identified for deaccessioning. These objects must be approved for such action by the Acquisitions Committee and will be disposed of by the most appropriate means.


It is the intent of UAMN's anthropological departments to fully comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Tribes seeking information regarding possible NAGPRA-eligible collections should contact department staff for full inventories and summaries.

Rights and Reproductions

The ethnology & history department grants one-time rights to reproduce images of objects from our collection. High-resolution digital images can be transferred for a wide variety of purposes including books, exhibition catalogs, newspapers or periodicals, brochures, annual reports, CD/DVDs, websites, museum exhibitions, and educational purposes.

Appraisals and Authentications

The ethnology & history department staff may not appraise items (make assessments regarding the financial value of an object), however we do maintain a list of professional, qualified appraisers for public distribution. Please contact department staff for this list.

Staff are happy to assist collectors and other museum professionals in identifying, authenticating, and assessing the scientific and/or aesthetic quality and conditions of artifacts and works of art. These authentications are based on our best professional judgment and experience and should not be taken as the definitive identification.