United Kingdom

United Kingdom2018-01-05T14:49:57+01:00

Deaccessioning in the United Kingdom

The UK has been one of the frontrunners regarding the development of deaccessioning and disposal tools.

The latest guideline (Disposal Toolkit) was published in 2014. It came with an appendix on financially motivated disposal. This was due to the fact that the past years, unethical disposal with profit as main goal became a trend. With the appendix, the British Museums Association tried to regulate this.

On a legislative level, there is quite some information available. However, the scope of these laws only covers national museums. Museums owned or subsidized by other governmental levels, are not obliged to follow national legislation.

Country details for United Kingdom

Official name:United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Number of residents:60 million
Number of museums:1,732
Parameters:Legislation, Guidelines, Other tools, and Accreditation scheme

Deaccessioning possibilities in the UK:


The UK has legislation on deaccessioning in the

Museums and Galleries Act of 1992 Chapter 4: Acquisition and disposal of pictures and other  objects 


The UK has developed multiple versions of its Disposal Toolkit:

Disposal Toolkit 2014

Appendix on financially motivated disposal 2014

Disposal Toolkit 2008

Most museums have their own policies on deaccessioning and disposal.


The British Museums Association has developed the website Find an Object, for museums to present their proposed disposals.

Individual museums are working on collection review methods.


The UK has no national classification system for museum objects.


The UK has no national register of museum objects.


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