Does your museum have objects in its possession for which there is no signed deed of gift? Expired loans that no one has collected? Objects that appeared one day without a note or explanation? You’re not alone.


DATE: December 6, 2018

TIME: 3:00 – 4:30 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone!)

COST: $25 StEPs Participants (with promo code) / $40 Members / $65 Non-members

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact for more information.


Description & Outcomes

In this webinar guest speaker Erin Richardson addresses how to resolve unclaimed and abandoned property in museum collections. Webinar participants learn why claiming title to this property is beneficial and what the basic processes are to do so. Erin reviews unclaimed property law generally, and provide resources on how to find the law in your state. She will also discuss what to do when title is successfully claimed. Lastly, we’ll review strategies to prevent future unclaimed loans and abandoned property in your collection. This webinar is part of the StEPs Lab series offered to both StEPs program participants and others interested in the topic of abandoned and unclaimed collection items. StEPs Labs provide an in-depth look at a topic central to operating a museum, historic house, site, or related organization. Applying what you learn in a Lab to your organization’s policies and practices helps you making meaningful progress in meeting national standards.

Participant Outcomes:

After taking part in this webinar, participant will have a better understanding of:

  1. Why this topic is important to proper management of museum collections;
  2. General principles behind state laws that apply to unclaimed and abandoned property;
  3. How to find and follow the law in their state;
  4. What to do when you claim title, and
  5. How to prevent situations where abandoned and unclaimed property law is needed.


With more than twenty years of experience working with museum communities at Historic Cherry Hill, Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, and as vice-president of the Museum Association of New York, Erin Richardson assists museums in solving pressing long-term collection problems so they may effectively serve their communities. Richardson holds a BA in American Studies from the SUNY Geneseo, an MA in Museum Studies from Cooperstown Graduate Program and a PhD in Leadership and Policy from Niagara University. Deaccessioning and abandoned property law are two of her favorite topics of study and discussion!