Countries with Guidelines


Guidelines and deaccessioning

In the European Union, there are six countries with official deaccessioning guidelines on deaccessioning and disposal:

  • The United Kingdom (Disposal Toolkit – latest version 2014),
  • The Netherlands (Leidraad voor het afstoten van Museale Objecten/LAMO – latest version 2016),
  • Austria (Ein Leitfaden zur Sammlungsqualifizierung durch Entsammeln – 2016),
  • Denmark (Vejledning til udskillelse – latest version 2010),
  • Germany (Nachhaltiges Sammeln. Ein Leitfaden zum Sammeln und Abgeben von Museumsgut – 2011)
  • Sweden (God samlingsförvaltning – stöd för museer i gallringsprocessen – 2017)
  • Finland has published a best practices document (Deaccessioning. Sharing experiences from Finland – 2016) in which a model of deaccessioning is presented that could be used as a guideline.
  • Estonia has guidelines since 2014 (Nõuandeid museaalide muuseumikogust väljaarvamise korraldamisel)

These guidelines provide museum professionals with procedures on the deaccessioning process and tips where to pay attention to. Which forms of disposal are possible, vary per country. Finnish professionals prefer destruction, while in the UK and Denmark this is regarded as a last option. In the Netherlands and the UK sale to the private domain is more accepted then in Finland.

However, a country does not need official guidelines to be able to execute deaccessioning and disposal. Ireland (and up until nov 2017) Sweden are good examples of this. Here museums are encouraged to develop their own policies on the subject, while there are no official national guidelines.

Countries with guidelines


In 2016 ICOM Austria published Deakzession, Entsammeln. Ein Leitfaden zur Sammlungsqualifizierung durch Entsammeln.(Deaccessioning, disposal. A guideline to enhance the quality of the collection through disposal)


Denmark has 2 guidelines on deaccessioning and disposal:

Guidance for Exclusion. Guidance for application for permission for exclusion from government and state recognized museum collections.


Finland has an unofficial guideline on deaccessioning and disposal:

Finnish Museums Association: Deaccessioning. Shared experiences from Finland.


The German Museums Association (Deutscher Museumsbund) has developed a guideline on deaccessioning and disposal in 2011:

Nachhaltiges Sammeln. Ein Leitfaden zum Sammeln und Abgeben von Museumsgut (2011).

Next to this, the German Museums Association, together with ICOM Germany, has published the Positionspapier zur Problematik der Abgabe von Sammlungsgut (2004).

Dirk Heisig (German Museologist) has made an effort to start the discussion on deaccessioning and disposal by writing a book Entsammeln. Neue Wege in der Sammlungspolitik von Museen (2006), with different reflections on the subject and giving a possible format for guidelines.


In november 2o17 the Swedish guidelines on deaccessioning (God samlingsförvaltning – stöd för museer i gallringsprocessen) were published.


The Netherlands 

2016 Guideline for deaccessioning of museum objects

2006 Guideline for deaccessioning of Museum Objects

Most Dutch museums have developed their own disposal policies.

United Kingdom 

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.