9. THE ROLE OF MUSEUMS
9.1 Museums are the ultimate custodians, on behalf of the public, of all portable antiquities claimed through the Treasure Trove system.
9.2 All portable antiquities acquired by museums since the publication in 1999 of the guidance that this document now replaces must have the status of either being claimed, unclaimed or disclaimed by the Crown (see Appendix M).
9.3 Museums must monitor the advertised lists of claimed items and send completed standard application forms for acquisition to the TTU before the closing submission date.
9.4 Museum involvement can begin at a much earlier stage, such as when an object is brought in for identification. In this case museum staff may be able to advise the finder on whether the object is a portable antiquity and therefore whether it should be reported as potential Treasure Trove (and the TTU can provide guidance for museum workers if there is uncertainty).
9.5 In such cases museum staff should where possible assist the finder to report her/his find to the TTU. They should be able to outline the Treasure Trove system (see Appendix N for a suitable information sheet to give enquirers), and it may be possible for them to retain the object, issue a receipt, and forward the object to the TTU themselves.
9.6 When applying for a portable antiquity or assemblage which has been claimed, museums must use the standard application form, available from the TT website (see Appendix K).
9.7 Only Scottish museums which have accredited/registered status through the scheme administered by Museums Galleries Scotland ( MGS) are eligible to apply for Crown-claimed material. Provisional status may in some cases be sufficient ( MGS can provide information on this issue).
9.8 Museums may normally only apply for Crown-claimed items which fall within the remit of their own collecting policies. This requires every museum to ensure that a copy of its current collecting policy is lodged with the TTU.
9.9 When compiling an application, museums should have regard to the criteria for allocation as defined elsewhere in this Code ( Appendix L).
9.10 In applying for Crown-claimed items museums ought to have a reasonable expectation of being able to meet the ex gratia payment where applicable, bearing in mind the assistance available from the National Fund for Acquisitions.
9.11SAFAP encourages the development of memoranda of understanding between museums with overlapping collecting policies in order to reduce the number of competitive applications and to facilitate the loan of objects to one museum even if allocation is made to another. It is not permissible, however, for one museum to apply to acquire Crown-claimed material on behalf of another, even if that museum is itself accredited/registered.
9.12 If competing applications are submitted, the TTU and SAFAP will follow the procedures outlined above (section 6.10) and the QLTR will determine the allocation.
9.13 Where no applications are received from museums for a claimed item, SAFAP will give NMS the option of accepting allocation.
9.14 Where an ex gratia payment is due to a finder, the QLTR will direct the allocated museum to pay the appropriate amount to the Crown Office. Only once the payment has been received by the QLTR will the TTU be authorized to release the find to the allocated museum.
9.15 Museums may wish to access claimed but unallocated items for display. This is possible by means of a loan arrangement authorized by the QLTR, for which appropriate forms are available to download from the TT website (see Appendix H).
9.16 Although allocation is deemed to transfer ownership of Crown-claimed items, museums are expected for audit purposes to notify the TTU of any intended long-term transfer of allocated items to another museum. The transfer of allocated items to non-accredited/registered bodies is not permitted.
TT.105/06 Iron Age horse harness from Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway. Allocated to Dumfries Museum.
Most metal objects from the Iron Age are not in fact made from iron, a metal which rarely survives well in Scottish soils, but are of bronze. A good example of fine Iron Age metalworking in bronze is TT.105/06 a decorative strap junction from a horse harness with intact yellow and red enamelling in very good condition although part of one of the two decorative bronze lobes is missing. Enamelling is a common decorative technique in the Iron Age and this example gives some idea of how colourful many metal objects would have been particularly when new and the bronze was highly polished.