Kitikmeot Heritage Society Collections
The Kitikmeot Heritage Society has environmentally controlled storage spaces for its archive and material collections. As the KHS is not an organization dedicated to collecting artifacts, it limits the type and amount of artifacts it accepts into its collection. As storage space is limited, many of our exhibited collections are on long-term loan from other museums. Much of the Kitikmeot Heritage Society’s collection does not consist of material objects. We also collect local knowledge about customs, oral history, dance, music, and traditional skills. This is preserved in the recollections of the elders, which are recorded and stored in our archives in the form of audio and visual recordings, books, written interviews, and film documentaries.
Collection Conservation and Care
The Kitikmeot Heritage Society is dedicated to the care and conservation of its collection’s materials. We achieve this by monitoring and maintaining optimal conditions for the preservation of collection materials through:
- Providing an optimum climate of temperature, relative humidity, light levels, etc., in a pollution and pest free environment;
- Providing storage and display conditions to meet professional preservation and conservation standards;
- Carrying out conservation assessments of the collections prior to acquisition, loan and display, and regularly monitoring the condition of all specimens;
- Prioritizing conservation requirements within the framework of resources available;
- Maintaining conservation through qualified staff and monitoring devices;
- Documenting all conservation measures undertaken ;
- Promoting best practice in the handling and care of objects, and minimizing the risks to their long-term preservation;
- Controlling access to storage rooms and collections.
Gifts and Loans of Artifacts
The Kitikmeot Heritage Society rarely purchases artifacts for its collection. Our collection consists primarily of gifted donations and materials loaned from other museums and heritage centres. As storage space in our facility is limited we are unable to take all gifted items and must choose only those that best meet the criteria of our collections policy. This policy states that our collection privileges items related to the Kitikmeot region and the Copper Inuit culture in particular. We also try only to collect items that are attached to information about who owned them, and where they came from.
When accepting donations, the Kitikmeot Heritage Society requires that a deed of gift form be filled out by both the person donating the materials and an authorized Kitikmeot Heritage Society staff member. In some instances, we are able to provide tax receipts for donations.
The Kitikmeot Heritage Society assumes the mandate of documenting and preserving the heritage, culture and language of Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region. As part of this goal, it has established the Kitikmeot Heritage Society Archives to better acquire and preserve material of archival and/or informational value to the people and communities of Nunavut. The term “material” is here defined as any kind of recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristics. “Material” is an umbrella term that includes, but is not limited to, documents, records, photographs, films, machine readable magnetic and optic media, published and unpublished manuscripts, maps, plans, sound recordings, as well as other cultural and historic artifacts.
The Kitikmeot Heritage Society Archives are managed by a designated staff Archivist, under the supervision and guidance of the Archival Committee, to be composed jointly of staff members from the Kitikmeot Heritage Society and May Hakongak Community Centre.
The Kitikmeot Heritage Society Archives exists to:
- Collect and preserve archival materials that illustrate the rich cultural history and language of people from the Kitkmeot region in particular, and of the territory of Nunavut as a whole;
- Arrange and describe these materials according to archival principles and make them accessible to the general public on a regular basis, unless access is restricted by legal requirements, written agreements with the donor, or the sensitive nature of the material’s content or physical condition as determined by the Archivist;
- Provide adequate and appropriate conditions for the storage, protection, and preservation of archival material;
- Provide regular reference services to individuals, organizations, the Nunavut government, or other groups interested in the activities and holdings of the Archives;
- Provide educational and outreach programming whenever possible to increase public awareness and appreciation of Kitikmeot’s history and development.
Materials for the Archives will be acquired through gifting, donation, and loan from individuals and institutions. Only on rare occasions will the Archives purchase materials, and only with approval and consenting appraisal from the Archives Committee.
Material acquired by the Kitikmeot Heritage Society Archives will become the permanent property of the Archives until such time as the Archivist deems it no longer relevant to the Archives, in which case the material may be de-accessioned. De-accessioning will not take place without the approval of the Archives Committee. The Archives retains the right to reproduce materials by mechanical, electronic, or photographic means for security, conservation, or research purposes.
The Archives will accept historical material of any medium, including: textual records; photographs and other visual records; maps, plans, and architectural records; and sound recordings and oral history tapes. The Archives will only accept books, printed material, artifacts, and electronically stored data at the discretion of the Archivist. The Archivist may refuse the acquisition of new materials based on issues of limited storage space, deteriorated condition, or perceived relevance to the Archive’s cultural and geographic priorities.
The Archives will only accept material on a permanent basis, except when borrowing material for term loans to reproduce or to include in displays or exhibits. Materials from the Archives may be loaned to other institutions or organizations only under the following circumstances:
- Written authorization is obtained from the Archives Committee and the department supervising the Archives;
- The Archivist provides written permission for the loan;
- The borrower ensures adequate care and handling of the material on loan.
If at any time the Archives determines that the material on loan is not being cared for adequately, the Archivist may cancel the loan and request the immediate return of the material.