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Research + Collections Stories

The Collections

MOA’s ethnographic objects originate from all over the world, including Asia, the Americas, the South Pacific, Africa and Europe.

Acquisitions & Donations

MOA’s acquisitions process guidelines gives potential donors and vendors information that may assist them in making decisions about the future of their collections.

Acquisitions Guidelines

Culturally Sensitive Materials

MOA is committed to working respectfully with originating communities. We know our collections contain items that are important to originating communities, and whose placement and care within the Museum continue to affect their values and beliefs. MOA recognizes that these objects may have a non-material side embodying cultural rights, values, knowledge and ideas which are not owned or possessed by MOA, but are retained by the originating communities. Information about the management of culturally sensitive materials at MOA can be found in our Management of Culturally Sensitive Material Guidelines.

Management of Culturally Sensitive Material Guidelines

The Museum’s mandate is to maintain objects purchased or donated by the public in a facility accessible by the public, to further research and education, and to offer assistance and access to originating communities. MOA considers all requests for repatriation seriously and on a case-by-case basis. The University of British Columbia governs the Museum of Anthropology; Policy 128 is the official UBC policy on repatriation as it applies to MOA.

Repatriation Guidelines

Policy 128 

Collections Object Access

MOA places a high priority on providing access to our collections for researchers, originating community members, and members of the public. Access to objects can be provided in person, by booking an appointment, and online using the following tools:

  • The Collections Access Guidelines provide details on how to book an in-person access visit.
  • The Collections Online (MOA-CAT) is our online object catalogue where all the collection records are available for browsing and searching. If you have any questions about the objects on this online database, contact Collections at objects@moa.ubc.ca.
  • The Reciprocal Research Network (RRN) is an online research environment that provides access to First Nations items from the Northwest Coast and British Columbia. It allows users to search through items from MOA as well as many other institutions.

Access for Originating Communities: 

The collections housed at MOA contain items that are important to originating communities, and their placement and care within the Museum continue to affect the values and beliefs of those communities. The Museum recognizes that these objects may have a non-material side embodying cultural rights, values, knowledge, and ideas that are not owned or possessed by the Museum, but are retained by the originating communities.

  • The Borrowing Conditions for Originating Communities outline borrowing conditions and loans procedures and provides potential borrowers with information on current practices at MOA to enable them to plan for loans more effectively.
  • The Indigenous Collections Access Grant offers funding to help cover the costs of bringing collections to communities or for Indigenous individuals (up to $500) or community groups (up to $3,000) to travel to MOA to visit with and study the collections and archives. There are three application deadlines per year: June 14, 2019; September 30, 2019; January 31, 2020. (It is not necessary to receive a Collection Access Grant in order to schedule an in-person visit with MOA’s collection, see above.)

Indigenous Collections Access Grant Application Form

Institutional Loans:

The Borrowing Conditions for Institutions Guidelines outline borrowing conditions and loans procedures and is intended to provide potential borrowers with information on current practices at the MOA to enable them to plan for loans more effectively. MOA’s internal process is complex and can take more time than one might expect.

Use of MOA images

MOA restricts the use of its object images for commercial purposes. In addition, some images are restricted by Canadian copyright law.

Application for Use of Images and Archival Materials