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Summerland Museum to auction items

Items to be sold are damaged, duplicates or not needed for museum’s mandate
In 2019, the Summerland Museum restored an old gas pump, which is now on display in the museum. While the gas pump will remain in the museum, certain deaccessioned artifacts will be sold in an auction. (Summerland Review file photo)

As part of an artifact storage reorganization project, the Summerland Museum is reviewing the relevance of the items in its collection.

Since 2020, the museum has initiated an artifact storage reorganization project, using a recognized methodology mandated by the Canadian Conservation Institute (RE-ORG). In addition, items stored off-site entered a review process that involved assessing their relevance to the museum’s Collections Mandate and Collections Criteria.

In the process of this review, based on the museum’s collections policy, a number of items did not meet the collections criteria and the items were deaccessioned.

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At present, there are around 20 items to be auctioned off, said Julien Butler, curator and archivist at the museum.

Deaccessioning is a procedure that allows museum staff to strengthen the quality of the collection by removing items that are damaged, duplicated, or not relevant to the museum’s mandate. It allows for better care of the items in the collection long-term.

“It is intended to be undertaken with caution, deliberation, discretion, and with the best interest of the collection in mind,” the museum collections policy states.

Once the deaccessioning procedure has been completed for an item, a disposition process will begin by first making an item available to other public institutions (unless indicated otherwise in their accompanying documentation) so that it may be kept in the public sphere. In some cases, items are transferred to local museums where the object is more relevant.

The Summerland Museum and Archives Society will be hosting an online auction from Jan. 13 at 7 a.m. until Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. The auction is open to the public. Shipment of any items will be the responsibility of the winning bidder. Pickup information will be provided to bidders after the auction is completed.

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Money raised from the auction will be used for the direct care of museum collections, such as improving collection storage, conserving an artifact, or purchasing an artifact for the collection.

Those interested in learning more about this project can visit

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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