Museology Master of Arts Program

November 14, 2019

A Collection Management Policy for the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center and a Collector’s Code of Conduct

Project by Jacob Bridy (2018)

A museum’s collection is one of its most central assets and must be handled with care in a deliberate and thoughtful way. This goal is achieved through the development of a Collection Management Policy, which is a single document that outlines all interactions with a museum collection, from initial acquisition to deaccession. The benefits of this document are a concise and clear path to follow for all collections activities, a resource for employees to understand the standards of collections operation, and evidence to outside bodies of the standards of museum collection. Also, most governmental bodies require such a policy to allow for permits to excavate on public land. The purpose of this project was to establish a Collection Management Policy for the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center of Bynum, Montana and to explore ways to improve the relationship between collecting paleontologists and landowners. This latter goal culminated in a Collector’s Code of Conduct, which is meant to serve as a guideline for field paleontologists to ethically excavate fossils and be mindful of landowners’ considerations. Through recursive rounds of research, writing, and revision, both of these products were produced successfully. The next steps are official adoption of the policy by the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center and any revisions that arise in that process and wider publication of the Collector’s Code of Conduct through a professional organization.

Keywords: Class of 2018, museum, collections, collection management policy, paleontology, landowners, Two Medicine Dinosaur Center, paleontological laws, conduct

Citation: 

Bridy, J. (2018). A Collection Management Policy for the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center and a Collector’s Code of Conduct. Unpublished master’s project, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.