Policies and Requests

Policies and Requests

The Museums at W&L is responsible for the care, interpretation, and use of its collections. Set policies allow the Museums to follow the highest museum standards and ethics that finances allow.

Policies and Requests

Washington and Lee University is vested with ultimate responsibility for the safety and maintenance of the museum-quality collections that it owns. It is the policy of the University to charge the staff of the Museums at Washington and Lee University under the authority of the Director of Institutional History, with the primary functions of collecting, researching, interpreting, exhibiting, preserving, maintaining, and caring for the University’s fine art, decorative art, and significant historical artifact collections, according to the highest museum standards and ethics that finances allow.

The University maintains other collections, including those in Special Collections of the Leyburn Library, the Law School Library, and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology. These areas maintain their own policies and collections records, separate from the Museums at W&L. However, for pieces of art and for significant historical artifacts, the Museums will provide additional cataloging and oversight. Staff responsible for the Museums will, to the extent possible, advise, assist, and collaborate with faculty/staff responsible for those other components of the University’s collections, but the Museums’ primary responsibility will be for the fine art and historical items.

This Collections Policy is a written statement of the goals of the Museums at W&L with explanations of how these goals are pursued through collections activities. It guides the staff in carrying out their responsibilities. This Policy applies to managing and caring for the University’s fine art, decorative art, and significant historical artifact collections. For more information, read the full Collections Policy.

The Museums at W&L make images of its collection available for research purposes, presentations and publications. Requests for use of images are considered on a case-by-case basis. To request an image please send the requester's contact information, details of the image(s) requested and the description of material use to Kyra Swanson at kswanson@wlu.edu or to the following address:

  • Museums at W&L
    Attn: Kyra Swanson
    Washington and Lee University
    204 W. Washington Street
    Lexington, VA 24450

Museum Advisory Committee

The Museum Advisory Committee assists with the mission and scope of collections. The Committee reviews museum policies and practices for collections development and management, loans and programming.

Our Mission

The Museums at W&L advance learning through direct engagement with the collections and facilitate an interdisciplinary appreciation of art, history, and culture.