The Thomas County Historical Society seeks to document the history of Thomas County and Thomasville, Georgia, by collecting documents, records, printed material, photographs, artifacts, memorabilia, and audio-visual materials. The Society actively seeks materials which will enhance the present collection and strengthen collection weaknesses.
The collections of the Museum are available to members of the Society and to the general public for research under the rules and regulations for use of the collection. Portions of the collection may also be used for exhibits within the Museum of History and the Lapham-Patterson House Museum.
Acquisitions will be made through donation, deposit, and on rare occasion by purchase and are approved by the Historical Society’s Curator of Collections in accordance with the Collection Policy. Acquisitions will also be based on the Society’s ability to properly care for the items. Acquisitions will be limited to those collections that have a primary emphasis on Thomas County and/or Thomas County residents. However, this will not preclude acquisition of materials of broader scope if they describe conditions or events which directly impacted Thomas County and its development.
The following items will be accepted:
The Society recognizes that other institutions collect in the same or overlapping areas and that, in some cases, another such institution may be a more appropriate repository for materials offered to the Society. In the spirit of cooperation, opportunities to acquire such materials, as well as those not covered by the Collection policy of the Society, will be referred to an appropriate repository. In the event that the legitimate collecting interests of the Society and another repository directly conflict, the Society will use the best interests of the research community as the primary criterion in pursuing a resolution.
Except in special circumstances, photocopied material will not be accessioned in to the Society’s collections and will be considered reference material not subject to the same protections and restrictions of archival items of the collection. Newspaper clippings may be accessioned into the collection or treated as non-archival reference materials at the discretion of the Curator of Collections.
The Society will not accept collections which are closed to public access in perpetuity. Although the Society prefers not to collect material with access restrictions, collections that can be opened upon the donor’s death, or within a reasonable period of time, will be considered.
The Society discourages accepting incoming loans due to the procedural complications that frequently accompany said acceptance. Particular consideration should be paid to the loaner’s age and health. Incoming loans will only be accepted on a temporary basis when it will be of benefit to the Society, with approval from the Curator of Collections or the Executive Director.
Collection items of the Society will not be specific to the Museum of History or Lapham-Patterson House Museum, other than an annotation in the catalogue record. Objects and archives belonging to the Society will be stored at the Museum of History’s storage area if not on exhibit. Objects belonging to the State of Georgia/Department of Natural Resources will remain at the Lapham-Patterson House Museum under all circumstances and should never be brought to the Museum of History.
In the event that the Society determines a previously accessioned item to be unsuitable, it will be de-accessioned.
Procedures for Execution of Society Policy for Acceptance of Materials: