Acquisitions and disposals

Find out more about the collections Acquisition and Disposal policy at Royal Museums Greenwich.

We acquire and dispose of material in accordance with the legal and ethical framework required to meet the professional standards identified within the Arts Council England‘s Accreditation Scheme. 

Criteria for collecting

Potential acquisitions will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • Significance of their contribution to our existing collections, collecting areas, research, education and display strategies
  • National or international historical importance by themselves or by association
  • The best of their kind (a key milestone in terms of development; leaders in the field; of high artistic quality; inspirational)
  • Rarity - items not currently represented in the collections.

Disposal Policy

The Museum has a long-term purpose and holds collections in trust for society in relation to its stated objectives. Consideration is given to the disposal of any items in the Museum‘s collection based on sound curatorial and collections management reasons.

See our Collections Development Policy (PDF)

Disposal will be undertaken only within the strategic framework of the Collection Development Policy and informed by the relevant curatorial  and collections management specialists, with the primary intention of improving access and care, or on health and safety grounds. All disposals will be made on behalf of and in the best interests of the public, the National Maritime Museum collections as a whole, and the object itself. 

The following criteria are be used when identifying items for potential disposal:

  • Items which fall outside the Museum's Collecting Development Policy, are not relevant to the Museum‘s mission and whose public accessibility is best served elsewhere, particularly within UKMCS framework
  • Duplicate items (after consideration of an item‘s provenance and research value as well as physical duplication)
  • Replica and prop items which should not have been accessioned
  • Items in poor condition which have as a result irredeemably lost their useful purpose and which are beyond economical conservation
  • Items with no potential for display or research
  • Items which pose a health and safety risk, where disposal is required in order to comply with relevant legislation 

Immunity from seizure

Visit our collections online website