Curatorial Facility Certification FAQ


Q: What is the purpose of the certification program?

A: The purpose of the Texas Historical Commission Curatorial Facility Certification Program is to recognize and support current professional standards for the care and management of state-associated held-in-trust collections maintained by curatorial facilities in the State of Texas.

Q: What does the program address?

A: The program addresses all collections placed in curatorial facilities by the THC, all collections generated under antiquities permits on public lands and all curatorial facilities seeking to receive state-associated held-in-trust collections. The program also is open to any curatorial facility that simply wishes to demonstrate its level of professional achievement.

Q: What collections does the program apply to?

A: (1) Permitted-collections that are the result of work governed by the Antiquities Code on land or under waters belonging to the State of Texas or a political subdivision of the State necessitating the issuance of a permit by the Commission. This work can be conducted by an outside researcher, other state agency, cultural resources management firm or by Commission personnel. Permitted-collections form the bulk of the Commission's state-associated held-in-trust collections.

(2) Commission non-permitted collections are the result of work governed by the Antiquities Code on land or under waters belonging to the State of Texas or a political subdivision of the State conducted by Commission personnel without the issuance of a permit.

(3) Purchased-collections are the result of acquisition of significant historical items by the Commission through the Texas Historical Artifacts Acquisition Program or use of other state funds.

(4) Donated-collections are the result of a material gift transaction by a private landowner, individual, corporation, organization, or through a bequest to the Commission. A major component of this category of collections is the consequence of work conducted by or under the direction of Commission personnel on private lands in Texas whereby the landowner transfers ownership of the generated collection through a deed-of-gift or donation form to the State of Texas and its agent, the Texas Historical Commission.

(5) Court action-collections are the result of rulings by a court concerning confiscated, illegally-held archeological or historical materials from public lands to be given to the Commission for care and protection.

(6) Legislative action-collections that are awarded to the Commission through legislative action such as House Bill 12, 80th Leg., Reg. Ses., 2007, which transferred 18 historic sites and all of their collections from the TPWD to the THC.

Q: Which curatorial facilities are eligible to apply for certification?

A: Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  1. Fit the definition of a museum or repository

  2. Have a written Mission Statement, Statement of Purpose and Scope-of Collections

  3. Have a written Collections Management Policy

If the curatorial facility does not meet all of these requirements, it will not proceed further with the certification process.

Q: What are the costs of certification?

A: There is no cost to the curatorial facility to participate in the certification process.

Q: How long is certification valid?

A: Certification is for a 10-year period. At the end of this time, the curatorial facility is invited by THC to apply for renewal of certification.