Mary Swift - Collections Assistant, Maritime Museum of British Columbia, Discussing how artifacts enter the collection of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia
The Maritime Museum catalogues when we're offered it, we do not buy artifacts. We're offered them as donations and we need to know from the person how they acquired it, how it was in their family, and how it was used and why they want to donate it and if there are any other family members that would like this and if so, to offer it to them first before they offer it to us, so that there are no legal issues with the heirs and then we look at it in committee, and see if this fills the hole or is a better example of what we already have in our collection. From there, we sign the donation and then all rights and everything become the Maritime Museum's. The person who donated it to us and their heirs give up all rights to the objects and it is now ours to care for and to use, to tell the stories. So, we get it, we research it from the family point of view, from the historical point of view and we write all of this information down on paper first and then in the computer so that when researchers come to ask us about certain artifacts, we can give them the history.