Collections Policy

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 University Collections of Art and History (UCAH), under the authority of the Vice President for University Advancement, 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 UCAH. However, for pieces of art and for significant historical artifacts, UCAH will provide additional cataloging and oversight. Staff responsible for the UCAH will, to the extent possible, advise, assist, and collaborate with faculty/staff responsible for those other components of the University Collections, but UCAH’s primary responsibility will be for the fine art and historical items.

This Collections Policy is a written statement of the goals of UCAH 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. Read the full Collections Policy.