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Property stamp on Accessioned Items

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    • #134530
      David C


      I have taken over the Curator’s position of our Historical Society. The previous Curator had been marking all our accessioned items according to Museum practices that were from the early 1980’s. On the back of all photos, post cards, and paper documents, the Curator would stamp (in ink), “Property of Hadley-Luzerne Historical Society”. The stamp was also used on the last page of books and booklets.

      I am changing many of our former practices and going by current best Museum practices. One thing I can not find information about is whether items can/should be marked with our organization’s name. Best practices now say, in effect, any marks put on items should be reversible. Consequently I’m hesitant to use our ink stamp.

      How should photos, documents, booklets and books be marked, if at all, other than an accession number in pencil?


      David Cranston, Curator
      Hadley-Lake Luzerne Historical Society
      52 Main Street ~ PO Box 275
      Lake Luzerne, NY 12846

    • #134533
      Patricia Selinger

      Hi David,

      The American Library Association division called the Association of College and Research Libraries has published Guidelines for Marking Books, Manuscripts, and Other Special Collections Materials. The Guidelines do recommend using the institution name or symbol.

      The Library of Congress has a specially made marking ink they will send you at no cost. It doesn’t state that it’s reversible and likely it isn’t. Ownership marks are not generally reversible so they will deter theft.

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