West Kirby Museum's Mission Statement
To preserve and display the collection of artefacts covering 1000 years of history of St Bridget's church and to promote knowledge and understanding of the museum, the church and local history.
Museum's Statement of Purpose
To collect and record material from West Kirby Parish and its local area to reflect the varied history and interests of its communities.
Overview of current collections
The original collections are the property of St Bridget's Parish Church Council. Most of the collection was discovered buried in the south aisle of St Bridget's church during rebuilding in 1869 and comprises artefacts associated with previous churches on the site. Other items associated with the church were found within the parish of West Kirby and donated to the museum many years ago. The collections include 10th century stone cross fragments, Norman masonry, Viking and medieval grave slabs, stone heads, window tracery and wooden church furniture.
Since the refurbished museum opened in 2013, new items are the property of the Parish Church Council or West Kirby Museum, as appropriate.
Themes and priorities for future collecting
Future collecting will focus primarily on archaeological and social history objects associated with West Kirby Parish and its local area. Priority will be given to items from West Kirby Parish.
The date range of objects in the collection range from Late Bronze Age (one item) to 20th century. The main gap in the collection is for prehistoric items.
Limitations on collecting
The museum recognises its responsibility, in acquiring additions to its collections, to ensure the care of collections, the documentation arrangements and the use of collections. It will take into account limitations on collecting imposed by the lack of suitable storage space and no environmental control in its present accommodation. Therefore the museum is unable to accept any organic or paper items at present. Other acquisitions must be able to be accommodated in the limited storage area.
Collecting policies of other museums
The museum will take account of the collecting policies of other museums and other organisations collecting in the same or related areas or subject fields. It will consult with these organisations where conflicts of interest may arise or to define areas of specialism, in order to avoid unnecessary duplication and waste of resources.
Acquisitions not covered by the policy
Acquisitions outside the current stated policy will only be made in very exceptional circumstances, and then only after proper consideration by the governing body of the museum itself, having regard to the interests of other museums.
a. The museum will exercise due diligence and make every effort not to acquire, whether by purchase, gift, bequest or exchange, any object or specimen unless the governing body or responsible officer is satisfied that the museum can acquire a valid title to the item in question.
b. In particular, the museum will not acquire any object or specimen unless it is satisfied that the object or specimen has not been acquired in, or exported from, its country of origin (or any intermediate country in which it may have been legally owned) in violation of that country’s laws. (For the purposes of this paragraph ‘country of origin’ includes the United Kingdom).
c. In accordance with the provisions of the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, which the UK ratified with effect from November 1 2002, and the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003, the museum will reject any items that have been illicitly traded. The governing body will be guided by the national guidance on the responsible acquisition of cultural property issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2005.
d. So far as biological and geological material is concerned, the museum will not acquire by any direct or indirect means any specimen that has been collected, sold or otherwise transferred in contravention of any national or international wildlife protection or natural history conservation law or treaty of the United Kingdom or any other country, except with the express consent of an appropriate outside authority.
e. The museum will not acquire archaeological antiquities (including excavated ceramics) in any case where the governing body or responsible officer has any suspicion that the circumstances of their recovery involved a failure to follow the appropriate legal procedures.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the procedures include reporting finds to the landowner or occupier of the land and to the proper authorities in the case of possible treasure as defined by the Treasure Act 1996.
Management of archives
As the museum holds archives, including photographs and printed ephemera, its governing body will be guided by the Code of Practice on Archives for Museums and Galleries in the United Kingdom (third edition, 2002).