Collections Development Policy

Name of Museum:
HorsePower, The King’s Royal Hussars Museum in Winchester

Name of Governing Body:
The King’s Royal Hussars Museum in Winchester Trust
Date on which this Policy was Approved by Governing Body: 10 Mar 2020

Policy Review Procedure:
The collections development policy will be reviewed annually and republished at least once every five years.
Date at which this policy is next due for review: Mar 2021

Arts Council England/Welsh Government will be notified of any changes to the collections development policy, and the implications
of any such changes for the future of collections.

Relationship to other relevant policies/ plans of theorganisation:

1.1 The museum’s statement of purpose is:
To safeguard the museum’s collections in order to tell the story of an English cavalry regiment for the education and enjoyment of all people living in and
visiting Hampshire, regardless of age, background and ability, and of past and present members of the Regiment and their families.

1.2 The governing body will ensure that both acquisition anddisposal are carried out openly and with transparency.

1.3 By definition, the museum has a long-term purpose and holds collections in trust for the benefit of the public in relation to its
stated objectives. The governing body therefore accepts the principle that sound curatorial reasons must be established before consideration is given to any acquisition to the collection, or the disposal of any items in the museum’s collection.

1.4 Acquisitions outside the current stated policy will only be madein exceptional circumstances.

1.5 The museum recognises its responsibility, when acquiring additions to its collections, to ensure that care of collections, documentation arrangements and use of collections will meet the requirements of the Museum Accreditation Standard. This includes using Spectrum primary procedures for collections
management. It will take into account limitations on collecting imposed by such factors as staffing, storage and care of collection arrangements.

1.6 The museum will undertake due diligence and make every effort not to acquire, whether by purchase, gift, bequest or exchange, any object or specimen unless the governing body or responsible officer is satisfied that the museum can acquire a valid title to the item in question.

1.7 In exceptional cases, disposal may be motivated principally by financial reasons. The method of disposal will therefore be by sale and the procedures outlined below will be followed. In cases where disposal is motivated by financial reasons, the governing body will not undertake disposal unless it can be
demonstrated that all the following exceptional circumstances are met in full:
• the disposal will significantly improve the long-term public benefit derived from the remaining collection
• the disposal will not be undertaken to generate short-term revenue (for example to meet a budget deficit)
• the disposal will be undertaken as a last resort after other sources of funding have been thoroughly explored
• extensive prior consultation with sector bodies has been undertaken
• the item under consideration lies outside the museum’s established core collection

2. History of the collections 

The museum collects, documents, preserves, exhibits and interprets material evidence relating to The King’s Royal Hussars and its predecessor regiments:

The Royal Hussars (PWO)
The 10th Royal Hussars (PWO)
The 11th Hussars (PAO)
The 14th/20th King’s Hussars
The 14th Hussars
The 20th Hussars

….. from 1715 to the present.

3. An overview of current collections

The collection comprises over 2500 accessions totalling approximately 15,000 individual objects consisting of:

• Archives including documents, books and photographs
• Art objects including commemorative trophies, paintings, engravings, prints and sketches
• Textiles including uniforms, guidons, flags and personal items
• Decorations, medals, badges and miscellaneous uniform accoutrements
• Military equipment and weapons, including swords and firearms
• Two light wheeled reconnaissance (Dingo) vehicles

4. Themes and priorities for future collecting
New collecting will continue to focus on items relevant to the Regiment from 1715 to the present, with a particular emphasis on the following:

• Uniforms, equipment, personal mementoes and audio-visual material from recent and current deployments. However, items of general army issue will not
be collected unless they have a particular significance to the Regiment, or to an individual in the Regiment.
• Medals and personal mementoes representing the post-1945 period are still in short supply, and the museum will actively encourage donations from within the regimental family to fill the gaps.
• The museum will only purchase items at auction or in private sales in exceptional circumstances, and if the funds are available within the Acquisition Fund or can be raised from external sources.
• The museum will not accept gifts of items which are already represented in the collection, except for medals awarded to a member of the Regiment, as each
set is deemed to be unique.

5. Themes and priorities for rationalisation and disposal

Due to the necessity to merge our two regimental museums, active rationalisation will be pursued to minimise instances of duplication and to allow items not on display to be held safely and securely in a centrally managed store on site.

5.1 The museum recognises that the principles on which priorities for rationalisation and disposal are determined will be through a formal review process that identifies which collections are included and excluded from the review. The outcome of review and any subsequent rationalisation will not reduce the quality
or significance of the collection and will result in a more useable, well managed collection.

5.2 The procedures used will meet professional standards. The process will be documented, open and transparent.There will be clear communication with key stakeholders about the outcomes and the process.

5.3 Some areas of the collection, such as uniforms and accoutrements from the last 50 years, contain multiple examples of items due to overzealous accessioning. A review of some categories of these items has led to a small number being returned to the original donors. As it has become a priority activity, the review of duplicate items and their potential disposal is an on-going process. Legal and ethical framework for acquisition and disposal of items

6.1 The museum recognises its responsibility to work within the parameters of the Museum Association Code of Ethics when considering acquisition and disposal.

7. Collecting policies of other museums

7.1 The museum will take account of the collecting policies of other museums and other organisations collecting in the same or related areas or subject fields. It will consult with these organisations where conflicts of interest may arise or to define areas of specialism, in order to avoid unnecessary duplication and waste of resources. Whilst planning the move and integration of The Museum of The King’s Royal Hussars in Lancashire (14th/20th King’s Hussars) this policy will be particularly carefully followed.

7.2 Additionally, specific reference is made to the following museums:

• The National Army Museum
• The Imperial War Museum
• Winchester’s Military Museums

8. Archival holdings

8.1 All archived holdings will be handled, cared for and managed in exactly the same way as the wider collection.

9. Acquisition Policy & Review Procedure

9.1 The policy review procedure is that the collections development policy will be published and reviewed from time to time, at least once every five years. The date when the policy is next due for review is noted above. Arts Council England will be notified of any changes to the collections development policy, and the implications of any such changes for the future of existing collections.

9.2 Acquisitions outside the current stated policy will only be made in very exceptional circumstances, and then only after proper consideration by the governing body of the museum itself, having regard to the interests of other museums.

9.3 The museum will not acquire any object or specimen unless it is satisfied that the object or specimen has not been acquired in, or exported from, its country of origin (or any intermediate country in which it may have been legally owned) in violation of that country’s laws. (For the purposes of this paragraph ‘country of origin’ includes the United Kingdom).

9.4 In accordance with the provisions of the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, which the UK ratified with effect from November 1 2002, and the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003, the museum will reject any items that have been illicitly traded. The governing body will be guided by the national guidance on the responsible acquisition of cultural property issued by the ,Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2005.

10. Human remains

10.1 The museum does not hold or intend to acquire any human remains.

11. Biological and geological material

11.1 So far as biological and geological material is concerned, the museum will not acquire by any direct or indirect means any specimen that has been collected, sold or otherwise transferred in contravention of any national or international wildlife protection or natural history conservation law or treaty
of the United Kingdom or any other country, except with the express consent of an appropriate outside authority.

12. Archaeological material

12.1 The museum will not acquire archaeological material (including excavated ceramics) in any case where the governing body or responsible officer has any suspicion that the circumstances of their recovery involved a failure to follow the appropriate legal procedures.

12.2 In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the procedures include reporting finds to the landowner or occupier of the land and to the proper authorities in the case of possible treasure (i.e. the Coroner for Treasure) as set out in the Treasure Act 1996 (as amended by the Coroners & Justice Act 2009).


13.1 Any exceptions to the above clauses will only be because the museum is:
• acting as an externally approved repository of last resort for material of local (UK) origin
• acting with the permission of authorities with the requisite jurisdiction in the country of origin In these cases the museum will be open and transparent in the way it makes decisions and will act only with the express consent of an appropriate outside authority. The museum will document when these exceptions occur.

14. Spoliation

14.1 The museum will use the statement of principles ‘Spoliation of Works of Art during the Nazi, Holocaust and World War II period’, issued for non-national museums in 1999 by the Museums and Galleries Commission. 

15. The Repatriation and Restitution of objects and human remains

15.1 The museum’s governing body, acting on the advice of the museum’s professional staff, if any, may take a decision to return human remains (unless covered by the ‘Guidance for the care of human remains in museums’ issued by DCMS in 2005), objectsor specimens to a country or people of origin. The museum will take such decisions on a case by case basis; within its legal positionand considering all ethical implications and available guidance.
This will mean that the procedures described in 16.1-5 will be followed but the remaining procedures are notappropriate.

15.2 The disposal of human remains from museums in England, Northern Ireland and Wales will follow the procedures in the ‘Guidance for the care of human remains in museums’.

16. Disposal procedures

16.1 All disposals will be undertaken with reference to the Spectrum primary procedures on disposal.

16.2 The governing body will confirm that it is legally free to dispose of an item. Agreements on disposal made with donors will also be considered.

16.3 When disposal of a museum object is being considered, the museum will establish if it was acquired with the aid of an external funding organisation. In such cases, any conditions attached to the original grant will be followed. This may include repayment of the original grant and a proportion of the
proceeds if the item is disposed of by sale.

16.4 When disposal is motivated by curatorial reasons the procedures outlined below will be followed and the method of disposal may be by gift, sale, exchange or as a last resort – destruction.

16.5 The decision to dispose of material from the collections will be taken by the governing body only after full consideration of the reasons for disposal. Other factors including public benefit, the implications for the museum’s collections and collections held by museums and other organisations collecting the same material or in related fields will be considered. Expert advice will be obtained and the views of stakeholders such asdonors, researchers, local and source communities and others served by the museum will also be sought.

16.6 A decision to dispose of a specimen or object, whether bygift, exchange, sale or destruction (in the case of an item too badly damaged or deteriorated to be of any use for the purposes of the collections or for reasons of health and safety), will be the responsibility of the governing body of the museum acting on
the advice of professional curatorial staff, if any, and not of the curator or manager of the collection acting alone.

16.7 Once a decision to dispose of material in the collection has been taken, priority will be given to retaining it within the public domain. It will therefore be offered in the first instance, by gift or sale, directly to other Accredited Museums likely to be interested in its acquisition.

16.8 If the material is not acquired by any Accredited museum to which it was offered as a gift or for sale, then the museum community at large will be advised of the intention to dispose of the material normally through a notice on the MA’s Find an Object web listing service, an announcement in the Museums
Association’s Museums Journal or in other specialist publications and websites (if appropriate).

16.9 The announcement relating to gift or sale will indicate the number and nature of specimens or objects involved, and the basis on which the material will be transferred to another institution. Preference will be given to expressions of interest from other Accredited Museums. A period of at least two months
will be allowed for an interest in acquiring the material to be  expressed. At the end of this period, if no expressions of interest have been received, the museum may consider disposing of the material to other interested individuals and organisations giving priority to organisations in the public domain.

16.10 Any monies received by the museum governing body from the disposal of items will be applied solely and directly for the benefit of the collections. This normally means the purchase of further acquisitions. In exceptional cases, improvements relating to the care of collections in order to meet or exceed Accreditation requirements relating to the risk of damage to and deterioration of the collections may be justifiable. Any monies received in compensation for the damage, loss or destruction of items will be applied in the same way. Advice on those cases where the monies are intended to be used for the care of collections will be sought from the Arts Council England/Welsh Government.

16.11 The proceeds of a sale will be allocated so it can be demonstrated that they are spent in a manner compatible with the requirements of the Accreditation standard. Money must be restricted to the long-term sustainability, use and development of the collection.

16.12 Full records will be kept of all decisions on disposals and the items involved and proper arrangements made for the preservation and/or transfer, as appropriate, of the documentation relating to the items concerned, including photographic records where practicable in accordance with Spectrum procedure on deaccession and disposal.

Disposal by exchange

16.13 The museum will not dispose of items by exchange.

Disposal by destruction

16.13 If it is not possible to dispose of an object through transfer or sale, the governing body may decide to destroy it.

16.14 It is acceptable to destroy material of low intrinsic significance (duplicate mass-produced articles or common specimens which lack significant provenance) where no alternative method of disposal can be found.

16.15 Destruction is also an acceptable method of disposal in cases where an object is in extremely poor condition, has high associated health and safety risks or is part of an approved destructive testing request identified in an organisation’s research policy.

16.16 Where necessary, specialist advice will be sought to establish the appropriate method of destruction. Health and safety risk assessments will be carried out by trained staff where required.

16.17 The destruction of objects should be witnessed by an appropriate member of the museum workforce. In circumstances where this is not possible, e.g. the destruction of controlled substances, a police certificate should be obtained and kept in the relevant object history file.