Collections and Research »

Museum Collection

Collections Management Policy

Adopted March 14, 2001


  1. The Lake of the Woods Museum has been created to collect, preserve, research, exhibit, and interpret objects that best serve to illustrate the founding, settlement, and development of Rat Portage, Kenora, Keewatin, Jaffray Melick and Lake of the Woods from the arrival of the First Nations in this region until the present day; with special emphasis on the period from the founding of the Rat Portage settlement (1861) until the end of World War II (1945).
  2. The term “collection”, as used in the Collections Management Policy, is understood to mean the acquisition of historically significant artifacts that contribute to an understanding of past human behaviour, customs, activities, events, institutions, and people.


  1. The Lake of the Woods Museum will collect only those objects made and/or used in Rat Portage, Kenora, Keewatin, Jaffray Melick, and Lake of the Woods; or that are associated with a person, place, or event in this area; or, to a limited extent, are typical or representative of objects made or used in this area; and that are relevant to, and consistent with, the purposes and activities of the museum.
  2. The acceptability of an artifact for the Museum’s collection will be determined by the Director of the Museum. In some cases, acceptability may be determined by the Director in consultation with the Collections Committee (composed of the Museum Director and several board members) or the Museum Board if the Director deems it necessary.
  3. Objects collected must be useful in the Museum’s display, research, and interpretive activities.However, the display of particular objects is not guaranteed.
  4. The museum will not collect duplicates unless they serve a useful purpose, such as extension program displays, educational kits, etc., or unless they are of a higher quality or of significance for reasons of comparison. Any duplicate which does not have a specific function should not be collected.
  5. The objects must be in reasonable condition so that the Museum may fulfill its goal of preservation, with as little alteration to objects as possible.
  6. Acquisition may be made through donation or purchase. In some cases, acquisition may be made through trade with another museum providing that all other acquisition conditions are met.
  7. All donations are considered outright and unconditional gifts to be used, displayed, or disposed of at the Museum’s discretion.
  8. All acquisitions involving transfer of ownership or transfer of responsibility (loans) must be accompanied by the appropriate legal documentation.
  9. Charitable receipts for income tax purposes may be issued for donations of artifacts. The person who determines the fair market value of the property must be competent and qualified to evaluate the particular property being transferred as a gift. Donations exceeding a value of $1000.00 must be accompanied by a written professional appraisal, paid for by the donor, before a tax receipt can be issued.
  10. The museum will not give appraisals for external purposes.
  11. The Director must be consulted before purchases are made.
  12. Acquisition purchases exceeding $1000.00 or the budget allotment must first be approved by the Museum Board.
  13. The museum will, in its acquisition and collection practices, abide by all municipal, provincial, and federal laws.


  1. Objects collected should be well documented. Such documentation should include:
    – circumstances surrounding the object’s discovery and acquisition (where, when, by whom)
    – the original owner and manufacturer
    – the object’s original use
    – a chronological history of the object
    – any other pertinent facts
  2. The Museum may collect artifacts that have incomplete documentation if they contribute to a clearer understanding of significant former customs, activities, people or events.
  3. The Museum will ensure that the collection is properly labelled, stored, and cared for, in the best possible physical environment.



  1. Objects may be loaned for temporary exhibition to other institutions with specified time lengths according to the loan conditions established by the Museum Board and detailed in the reverse of the loan form used for such purposes.
  2. The Museum may loan objects for temporary displays or educational purposes off-site. Such off-site locations must offer reasonable security and environmental conditions.
  3. Objects loaned by the Museum on a long-term basis must be reviewed and renewed annually, if such renewal is desirable.
  4. Each request to borrow items from the Museum will be dealt with individually with the final decision being made by the Museum Director in consultation with the Collections Committee or the Museum Board if the Director deems it necessary.


  1. Artifacts will be accepted on loan by the Museum for a specific purpose, i.e. special displays, photographic reproduction, etc. All artifacts accepted as a short-term loan will have a pre-determined time limit, agreed upon by both parties concerned.
  2. The Museum will accept loans from institutions or corporations for assigned periods of time.
  3. No long-term loans (exceeding 3 months) will be accepted from individuals because of the expense involved in housing, handling, maintaining and insuring the loaned items.


  1. The Museum may dispose of artifacts that are
    – not historically significant to the city of Kenora, Lake of the Woods or the immediate area.
    – duplicates of artifacts that are historically significant.
    – found to be not authentic.
    – useless for research purposes due to poor documentation.
    – not useful for research, exhibition, or loan.
    – in such poor physical condition that conservation or restoration treatments are unfeasible.
    – a preservation threat to other articles in the collection.
    – accidentally lost or destroyed
  2. The deaccessioning of an artifact from the Museum’s collection will be determined by the Director of the Museum. In some cases, the decision will be made in consultation with the Collections Committee (composed of the Museum Director and several board members) or the Museum Board if the Director deems it necessary.
  3. Disposal of such artifacts will be accomplished in one of the following manners (not necessarily in this order)
    – returned to the donor.
    – offered to another museum or educational or cultural institution.
    – sold by public sale with the proceeds going into an acquisition fund.
    – destroyed.
  4. On no occasion will Museum staff members or Museum board members be permitted to purchase deaccessioned items.
  5. The process of deaccessioning will be thoroughly documented so that a permanent record of the museum’s actions is available for future reference. The catalogue number must be removed from the deaccessioned object; however the catalogue number must be maintained in the accession records along with the necessary details of the disposal.
  6. The museum will deaccession collections for the purposes of repatriation, when it can be shown that the individual, group or body of government have a right to the material. The museum will proceed with repatriation only when it has assurances that the collections will be preserved in accordance with the highest standards of the museum profession.
Do Not Miss

Historians Share Their Research on the
La Verendrye and Father Aulneau Story
June 25 and June 26 @ 7pm
Learn more about the 2 part presentation and the presenters

In Our Temporary Exhibit Gallery

Honouring the Sacred Jingle Dress
July 1 - October 19 2019
More Info ...


The massive deer rack on display has a massive 30 points. It has been unofficially scored at an incredible 252-2/8 and might well be the holder of the record as Ontario's biggest non-typical white-tail. At the present time, the record holder, with 20 points, has a score of 234-5/8. Because the origin of the Museum's rack is unknown and it could either be from Ontario or Manitoba, it cannot be confirmed as the record holder.