National Air and Space Museum Collection Items for Transfer to Museums and Educational Institutions
As part of established practices and policies related to the effective stewardship of our collections, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum seeks to collaborate with other museums and educational organizations to identify appropriate recipients to receive, through formal transfer, objects that are deaccessioned from the Museum collections in order to keep such objects in the public domain. This effort seeks to:
- provide information on available objects to interested organizations
- match requested objects with qualifying organizations, and
- deaccession and transfer objects per the criteria below
Smithsonian and National Air and Space Museum policies identify deaccessioning and disposal to be essential elements of responsible collections management. Our policies call for the periodic review and evaluation of collections which serve to refine and improve the overall quality and relevance of the collections with respect to our mission and purpose. Though collections are generally acquired with the good faith intention to retain the material for an indefinite time period, these periodic reviews can identify objects that do not meet our current collecting plans, objects that are insufficiently related to our mission, or objects that are duplicative of other artifacts in our collection. Once such objects are identified they may be selected for deaccession and made available for transfer. Our deaccession procedures are designed to insure thoughtful, well-documented consideration of each proposed collection item in the context of the long-term interest of the Smithsonian, the general public and the object itself.
Through this process the National Air and Space Museum has currently identified a number of objects as candidates for transfer. Objects on this list have been evaluated against Smithsonian and National Air and Space Museum collections criteria and have been determined to be inappropriate or superfluous to the National Air and Space Museum collection, and are believed to be of potential use within the collections of other museums and educational organizations.
Museums or educational organizations interested in requesting the formal transfer of objects are required to complete a request form and send it to:
National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
Collections Division, Office of the Registrar
Independence Avenue at Sixth Street SW
MRC 311, PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Or via email to NASM-Transfer@si.edu.
All requests will be reviewed by National Air and Space Museum staff against criteria that include: the importance of an object to a requesting organization's mission and collecting goals; the requesting organization's planned use for a transferred object; and, a requesting organization's capacity to properly utilize and care for the objects in the long-term. The Museum will also be seeking to insure that transferred objects remain in the public domain and that a level of geographic distribution is attained. Museum staff will notify all applicants as to its review and final decisions and all deaccession and transfer decisions are within the Museum's sole discretion. In the event of requests for the same object from more than a single organization, the information provided will serve as the basis for ranking multiple requests. Requests from private individuals will not be considered.
Once an organization is selected to receive an object or objects, the deaccession and transfer will proceed in accordance with National Air and Space Museum and Smithsonian collections management policies. Once the deaccession and transfer is approved in accordance with these policies, recipient organizations will be expected to coordinate packing and transportation arrangements with National Air and Space Museum staff, and will be responsible for all costs related to the transfer. All transfers will be documented with a written transfer agreement.
Questions about the application process should be directed to NASM-Transfer@si.edu.