Plainfield Historical Society Collection Policy


The purpose of the collections of the Plainfield Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and provide access to historical records and objects documenting the history of Plainfield, MA, and its people.

The Plainfield Historical Society identifies, collects, preserves and makes available records, manuscripts, personal papers of enduring value, books, pamphlets, photographs, maps and objects from Plainfield residents, business, and organizations, from its settlement until the present, as well as oral histories on audio cassette tape and in digital format that are accompanied by permission to digitize and allow access to the digital file. Videographic materials will be accepted in exceptional circumstances only, due to the significant resources to it takes to preserve and provide access to the content.”

All materials accepted into the Archives are accepted with the caveat that the archives of the Plainfield Historical Society may store some or all of these materials at another repository if preservation of the records necessitates it.

The Archives makes its collections available to the general public under supervision or with consent from the curator, upon request and by appointment.

Accession Policy

Materials will be accepted into the collection upon approval by the Plainfield Historical Society’s Curator of Collections, who is elected annually by the membership. Materials may be acquired by gift (accompanied by a deed of gift), bequest, purchase, or any other transaction that passes title of the materials to the Plainfield Historical Society. Only in exceptional circumstances will the Plainfield Historical Society accept a gift or donation with restrictions attached.

Loan Policy

The Plainfield Historical Society will not accept objects or records on loan (except for exhibition or other temporary programming purposes). Materials may be loaned to other historical organizations for purposes of programming, upon approval of the Curator of Collections, and with a contract stating the purpose of the loan and the duration of the loan period. Manuscript records will not be loaned if it is reasonably possible to make a facsimile (such as with photographs and legal records). Loaned materials must be returned within six months, exhibited in a UV-, temperature-, and moisture-controlled environment. The Curator of Collections may end loans at any time s/he deems it to be necessary.

Deaccession Policy

Items or objects now in the permanent collection, which fail to meet the requirements set forth in this “Collections Policy” and/or fail to gain the majority approval of the Plainfield Historical Society Curator of Collections and a majority of the Board of Trustees, may be considered for deaccessioning.

The Curator or a member of the Collections Committee (those members working on the Collections) may present to the Plainfield Historical Society Board of Trustees a proposal for deaccessioning and their recommendations for the object’s disposition. The ultimate decision for an object’s deaccessioning and disposition must be made by the curator of Collections and a majority vote of the Plainfield Historical Society Board of Trustees. When materials are removed, the Society will attempt to locate the donor or heirs. If the family or donor refuses the item, the Society will offer the materials to other community organizations before properly destroying  them.

Specific reasons for deaccessioning may include:

  • Item is not consistent with the Plainfield Historical Society’s Collections Policy or Mission Statement
  • Item is a duplicate; in poor condition; of excessive size; dangerous or may cause damage; is/was donated as a “conditional gift,” “indefinite gift,” or loan.