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Imperial College's College Treasures Policy

Imperial College has in its possession a number of collections, items and artefacts, some of which have always been the property of the College and other which it has inherited as a result of the mergers with the medical schools in the 1980s and 1990s and with Wye College in 2000.

When taken together these various collections, items and artefacts can be considered as the ‘College Treasures'. The College Treasures are, in the main, held by the College Archives and Corporate Records Unit. Other collections and artefacts are also held by the Library and by some Departments. Although most of the collections have a direct scientific or academic connection with the College, there are some artefacts where this connection is more tenuous.

The Collections, Items and Artefacts held as College Treasures will in future be categorised into Core and Non-Core items according to the following criteria:

  • Core Items. Core Items will have a direct relationship with the academic work of the College and/ or have a significant historical connection with the College.
  • Non-Core Items. Non-core items will have no significant association with the College and have no reputational interest.

Core items will be retained by the College. Non-core items may be treated in two ways. Some items may be retained for stewardship by the College. Such items may be used by the College (e.g. paintings which may be displayed), or may be offered to another body such as a museum as a donation or under trust status. In certain cases, items may be returned to their original donors, in return for a charitable donation to e.g. the Student Opportunities Fund.

Other non-core items will be offered to the College Fund for their exploitation or sale.

All items held in College Collections are considered to be ‘core' unless and until a determination is made by the College Treasures Committee that an individual item should be categorised as ‘non-core'. Where the College receives an expression of interest in an individual item, that item will be assigned to a category in the first instance before any further discussion takes place with the person expressing the interest.