Documenting Your Collections
Info-Muse Network Documentation Guide

Les guides électroniques de la SMQ

Acquisition Mode (Source)

Field to be used with an authority listField used for ethnology and history collectionsField used for fine and decorative arts collectionsField used for science and technology collectionsField used for archaeology collections (object data and site data)Field used for natural science collections


  • This field indicates how your institution acquired the specimen.


  1. Use this field with the following authority list for better results when searching the database:

    A specimen left to your institution in an individual's will is transferred permanently to your institution.

    Larry Silverstein left a naturalized reindeer to your institution in his will, which was read on November 12, 1990.

      Discipline mammalogy
      Specimen Common Name reindeer
    Acquisition Mode bequest
      Accession Date 1990-11-12
     Source Silverstein, Larry
    A specimen is born in your institution.

    On October 15, 1991, your giraffe gave birth in your institution.

      Discipline mammalogy
      Genus Giraffa
      Species camelopardalis
      Specimen Common Name giraffe
    Acquisition Modebirth
      Accession Date 1991-10-15
    A specimen was placed on deposit with your institution for a limited time, with a view to your acquiring it.

    N.B.: It is common practice to use the term "deposit" for a specimen that has been placed with an institution for an unlimited time, but this is incorrect. In such cases, the appropriate term is "unlimited loan." This information cannot be entered in this field, however, because the specimen has not been acquired by the institution.

    N.B.: "Deposit" is a temporary acquisition mode. If specimens have been deposited with your institution for an unspecified duration, acquisition procedures such as purchase or donation should be considered.

    A naturalized turkey vulture was deposited with your institution on May 8, 1991, by Jack Clifford, to be presented at the next meeting of the acquisitions committee.1

      Discipline ornithology
      Species aura
      Specimen Common Name turkey vulture
    Acquisition Mode deposit
      Accession Date 1991-05-08
     Source Clifford, Jack
    An authority mandated by your institution gathered an object by digging into the ground or looking underwater.

    N.B.: Underwater digs do not necessarily mean that the object was recovered from beneath the ground. It may have been freed from the surface under which it was at least partly buried.

    A fossil was acquired on September 18, 1988 during digs carried out on your institution's property, by an archaeologist working for your institution.

      Genus Amyzon
      Species brevipinne
     Specimen Nature bone
    Acquisition Modeexcavation
      Accession Date 1988-09-18
    A specimen is permanently transferred to your institution from another institution, in exchange for another specimen.

    You obtained a naturalized armadillo on March 29, 1980 from the Tropical Fauna Museum. In exchange, you gave it a specimen from your Museum.

      Discipline mammalogy
      Specimen Common Name armadillo
    Acquisition Mode exchange
      Accession Date 1980-03-29
     Source Tropical Fauna Museum
    An authority mandated by your institution collected the specimen from the surface or in the water.

    This mode is most common for archaeological objects and natural science specimens.

    A destroying angel was collected on May 6, 1992 by a botanist on an excursion organized by your institution on your land.

      Genus Amanita
      Specimen Common Name destroying angel
    Acquisition Modefound
      Accession Date 1992-05-06
    A specimen has been given permanently to your institution.

    N.B.: It may be considered a gift even if your institution issues an income tax receipt.

    A naturalized Atlantic salmon was given to your institution on August 22, 1981 by Explorers Group Inc. The specimen is now part of your permanent collection.

      Genus Salmo
      Species salar
      Specimen Common NameAtlantic salmon
    Acquisition Modegift
      Accession Date 1981-08-22
     Source Explorers Group Inc.
    integration of art and architecture
    A work of art was acquired by your institution as part of the policy on integrating art with architecture and the environment in public buildings. Under this legislation, part of the construction budget for a public building (1%) should go toward having a work of art created by a visual artist from Quebec.


    The specimen was obtained by your institution in exchange for payment.

    Your institution purchased a shell from the Outward Bounders Club on March 7, 1987.

      Species junonia
    Acquisition Mode purchase
      Accession Date 1987-03-07
      Source Outward Bounders Club
    staff commissioned
    A specimen was commissioned by your institution and produced by one or more individuals working for the institution.

    A specimen is permanently transferred from another institution to yours, or from the consolidated fonds of your institution to your collections.

    A Northeast lucina belonging to the Marine Interpretation Centre was transferred to your institution on March 15, 1990.

      Species filosa
      Specimen Common Name Northeast lucina
    Acquisition Modetransfer
      Accession Date 1990-03-15
     Source Marine Interpretation Centre
    Acquisition mode impossible to determine, even following research.

    Despite all your research, you cannot determine how your institution acquired a wild red raspberry plant. Nonetheless, you know that it came to your institution in 1983.

      Discipline botany
      Specimen Common Name wild red raspberry; raspberry
    Acquisition Modeunknown
      Accession Date 1983
  2. This field is used in conjunction with the Accession Date and Source fields.

    A specimen donated by Paul Ranger on February 18, 1952

    Acquisition Mode gift
      Accession Date1952-02-18
     SourceRanger, Paul

Entry rules:

  1. Enter the full acquisition mode of the specimen; do not use abbreviations.

    On March 26, 1988, your institution purchased a naturalized grey seal belonging to Christopher Thyssen.

      Genus Halichoerus
    Acquisition Mode purchase
      Accession Date1988-03-26
      Source Thyssen, Christopher
  2. If you are unsure whether your information is correct, include a space and a question mark after the keyword.
  3. This field may not contain more than one entry.

  1. If the specimen is acquired, the information in the Acquisition Mode field must be updated. Otherwise, the specimen will be returned to its owner. © Société des musées du Québec