The general purpose for which this corporation is organized is to promote, through the establishment and maintenance of a museum and allied projects, an educational program that will bring about a better understanding and appreciation of the life and times of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Our primary focus is on the years President Johnson spent as a student at what was then Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University-San Marcos), his teaching experiences in South Texas, and the impact these experiences had on his leadership in the development of legislation, especially in areas such as Education and Civil Rights.
The collection scope of the LBJ Museum of San Marcos is ultimately dictated by the Museum’s mission statement. It is in our best interest to acquire those artifacts and archives that build, enhance, or enrich our collection, and for the purpose of preserving the past and disseminating knowledge to the general public through the use of museum exhibitions, a reference and research library, lectures, seminars, workshops, and other educational programs. We limit our collections to those items for which we can provide adequate and cost-efficient care, preservation, storage, and exhibition. Items of historical significance related to the museum’s mission and purpose may be accepted for the permanent collection even if too fragile to exhibit or when requiring extensive preservation or conservation measures.
The Museum’s collections are held in trust for the public; every reasonable attempt will be made to keep significant materials accessible and to maintain the highest ethical standards in the preservation and interpretation of its collections. The Museum assumes complete and unrestricted title to items accessioned into the permanent collection. The care and safety of collections shall be the responsibility of the Museum.
The LBJ Museum of San Marcos Board of Directors reviews and approves all matters regarding the Museum collections. The Board President may appoint, with Board approval, members to an ad hoc Collections Committee. The Museum Director will be an ex officio member of this committee.
Primary Areas:

  • LBJ as Southwest Texas State Teachers College student and alumnus
  • LBJ’s teaching experiences in Cotulla and Houston
  • The action, impact, and legacy of LBJ’s legislation especially in Civil Rights, Education, and Anti-Poverty
  • The San Marcos community and LBJ
  • The LBJ Museum of San Marcos Records

Secondary Areas:

  • LBJ, Lady Bird, and Johnson family history and biography
  • Texas State University-San Marcos (general)
  • Central Texas and South Texas regions (political, social, historic, geographic)
  • The American Presidency
  • United States or Texas Politics and Political Science
  • JFK and the assassination
  • LBJ’s direct involvement with Vietnam and other foreign engagements
  • Texas during the Great Depression of the 1930s
  • Background or general information on Mexican-American immigration and socioeconomic history of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Records, artifacts, and other materials originating from people, places, subjects, or organizations associated with LBJ or his legacy
  • General history and culture of postwar American society, especially the social, economic, cultural, and technological trends and events of the 1960s.
  • Under-documented or under-represented socioeconomic minorities in America
  • Professional books, guides, periodicals, newsletters, or audio/visual resources dealing with museum science, museum administration, public history, archival management, library science, historic preservation, heritage tourism, and non-profit organization management.

Tertiary Areas:

  • General histories of Texas, the United States, Vietnam, federal government, etc.
  • Any materials of a specific nature that have marginal or indirect relationship to LBJ
  • Any materials originating from a source of minor or marginal significance to the primary or secondary areas of our collection scope
  • Artifacts, photograph, and art representative of a similar theme, time period, place, or subject, but not specifically related to the primary or secondary areas.

The Museum shall acquire its collections through gifts, bequest, exchange, field collection, purchase, or any transaction by which title to the object is transferred to the LBJ Museum of San Marcos. The Museum shall acquire objects or documents only when they are unencumbered by conditions imposed by the owner, donor, consignee, or by the nature of the material itself. The Museum Board of Directors may approve exceptions to this provision.
The Museum shall assume that all donors are sole owners and shall have no responsibility for confirming ownership. Donors must declare in writing that they have sole ownership of item(s) donated and have complete authority to make said donation. In addition, if the donor or vendor possesses copyright to material, he/she shall be encourage, to relinquish and transfer to the Museum all right, title, and interest in copyright and transfer the exclusive rights of reproduction, adaptation, and distribution to the Museum. If this is not agreed upon, the material shall be treated as an encumbered donation.
Only the Board of Directors and the Museum Director has the authority to physically accept potential donations to the Museum. Exceptions to this may be made only with prior approval by the Board of Directors.
Basically, the closer the materials are to our museum’s mission statement, the more likely they are to serve educational and programmatic needs, and thus be accessioned into the collection. Materials with lesser significance to the primary focus of the museum will undergo a more critical test against criteria for accepting them, or perhaps will not be accepted at all. Acceptance or rejection depends on a number of storage, preservation, research, and accessibility factors. This strategy will hopefully, on one hand, build and enhance our collection that will offer the maximum possibilities for education and research, but on the other hand, prevent the museum archives from becoming a “community attic” filled with random, irrelevant, unusable, or destructive materials.
Relevance to Museum Mission and Collection Scope
Any materials that are central to the mission and purpose of the Museum are very likely to be accepted into the collection. The Museum should pro-actively seek out potential donors and collections that serve the primary focus of the Museum. All materials from the primary areas and many of the materials belonging to the secondary areas of our collection scope should be accepted into the Museum collection, unless there are unusual circumstances or conditions preventing us from doing so.
All acceptable formats are governed by the Museum’s collection needs and deficiencies, storage and preservation requirements, exhibition or research value, accessibility, and potential use for educational programs.
Architectural Drawings:
Architectural or engineering plans, illustrations, drawings, blueprints, sketches, or renderings of buildings, sites, districts, or structures in any flat media, but which typically will be in large format.
Manuscript papers, organizational records, mixed-format private collections, deeds, surveys, news clippings and magazine articles, ephemera, pamphlets, brochures, press releases and advertisements, programs, correspondence, invitations, postcards, greeting cards, sheet music, posters, certificates, illustrations, financial records, scrapbooks, research, creative works, and miscellaneous unpublished documents or volumes.
Objects, furniture, memorabilia, toys, machines, tools, clothing, postage stamps, cooking or grooming utensils, building or structural remnants, and generally any kind of tangible, authentic material culture that originally served a physical or functional purpose, and which may have served to communicate information or document a particular subject, person, organization, place, or event.
Audio Recordings:
Speeches, meetings, performances, documentaries, events, music, narratives, interviews, and broadcasts recorded onto CD, CD-ROM, audio cassette, phonograph, wire, or reel-to-reel formats. Specific formats that cannot be played or viewed will be treated as artifacts.
Generally any materials traditionally found on the library shelves or stacks, including books and serial volumes, school yearbooks, reports, directories, manuals, guides, large pamphlets or programs, thesis and dissertations, anthologies, and uncatalogued books.
Decorative Arts:
Furniture, household accessories, pottery and ceramics, adornment, engravings, structural-members, and generally artifacts possessing artistic character.
Digital Media:
Machine-readable information, data, and media stored on CD, DVD, floppy diskette, zip drives, and flash drives. Hard drives are usually not acceptable.
Fine Arts:
Paintings, illustrations, prints, sculptures, mixed-media creative works, and generally any interpretive, subjective, or uniquely creative object originally produced primarily for artistic or aesthetic purposes.
Illustrative descriptions that convey information (highway, plat, precinct, geological, topographical, etc.) onto a discreet geographical area.
Microforms are essentially preservation copies of manuscripts, records, books, and periodicals duplicated onto plastic film.
Motion Picture Film:
Film in 8mm, super-8mm, 16mm, and 35mm formats and must be in good condition.
Newspapers, newsletters, magazines, journals, and others sources published on a serial and continual basis.
Photographic prints in black & white or color, negatives, positives, slides, old or rare process photographs (tintypes, cyanotypes, cabinet cards, daguerreotypes, etc.), oversized photographs, aerial photographs, digital prints, and any print or image produced from a chemical photographic process. Images from news or magazine clippings and images contained on text documents or artifacts are not counted as photographs for the purposes of this museum collection.
Rare and Fragile Items:
Any item that requires special handling and care and which will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of the museum.
Video Recordings:
Performances, meetings, events, speeches, presentations, documentaries, narratives, interviews, and multi-media projects recorded onto DVD, DVD-ROM, video cassette, or camcorder tape formats. Specific formats that cannot be played or viewed will be treated as artifacts.
Storage Requirements
All items accessioned into the museum collection will be physically and permanently stored at the museum, unless circumstances change requiring off-site storage. Additionally, items of similar format, composition, or physical dimensions are stored separately in order to maximize space, preserve the materials, and offer more efficient reference and access. However, the total space for the collection is limited, and any new accession decreases this available space.
Also, storage must accommodate free accessibility of the artifacts and records. When items are piling on top of one another, or when one or more items must be moved in order to reach another, then space availability has reached its limit. The Museum encourages all acquisitions, whether big or small, that enriches and expands the opportunities for education and research. It must be understood that every acquisition “taxes” a proportion, or constitutes a percentage, of total space. Small to medium size acquisitions are generally manageable. Acquisitions of a disproportionately large volume, dimension, or size must be given special consideration as to its informational, evidential, intrinsic, artifactual, and historical value, and how much relevance it has to the museum’s purpose. In such a case, the donor may be requested to help raise the funds to provide the adequate storage necessary for housing the items. The Museum may acquire the collection with the reasonable intent of expanding the area available for adequate, permanent archival housing, with or without the donor’s assistance.
Preservation Requirements
Preserving the legacy of LBJ and making these materials available for exhibition and research is central to the museum’s mission. We have the responsibility to make every reasonable effort to preserve the items in our collection. Preservation requires staff, time, effort, workspace, and money. Therefore, any item, beyond standard preservation treatment, that requires significant, unusual, difficult, or costly preservation measures must be proportionate to its intrinsic, evidential, informational, artifactual, or historical research value.
Storage should be adequate to preserve the archival materials, which includes proper or suitable environmental control (temperature, humidity level, ventilation, free from exposure to unfiltered light, pests, and pollutants), protectors (acid-free boxes, folders, sleeves) in order to slow the processes of deterioration, security (locked doors and fire alarms), and a disaster plan that encompasses all holdings.
All acquisitions will be appraised of their physical condition and their potential to yield exhibition, educational, archival, and research value to the community. Intrinsic value means that the original document or artifact loses its integrity should it undergo modification. A newspaper clipping, originally produced on ephemeral paper not meant to last, will not lose its integrity should the contents be photocopied onto a plain-stock paper media. However, if the news clipping had been pasted onto a page in a scrapbook by the original creator or collector, removing that clipping would cause the scrapbook itself to lose intrinsic value.
Artifactual value is determined by an artifact’s historic construction, purpose, use, and cultural meaning as a tangible object. A written document, constructed entirely of words on some form of paper, may have artifactual value due to its historic setting, physical location, transportation, or modification created by historic processes.
Informational value refers to the information, descriptions, or details of any document that can be abstracted intellectually or duplicated. The artifactual or physical components have lesser significance.
Evidential value is the official, legal, authoritative, or definitive documentation of an act or policy by a unique organization, department, agency, or government. Portions of personal papers or business records may also provide evidential value.
Historical research value broadly implies that a part of history may be accurately understood or reconstructed based on the information, description, uniqueness, and original integrity of the document or artifact; it may also imply that the item has the potential to contribute significantly to historical research. An item that lacks context, chronology, a clear provenance, and original integrity has low research value if it cannot prove or demonstrate anything. Also, an item has low research value if other easily available documents would provide the same information.
In addition to the research or preservational value of incoming materials, physical condition must be accessed in order to determine their handling and archiving needs, and against which is measured their potential exhibition, educational, or research value.
Reference, Access, and Use
Acquisitions ideal to our collection are those that will be processed and included into finding aids within a reasonable time, have unrestricted access, can be handled without causing damage or deterioration, and have the potential to be used on a regular basis. We also accept large or bulky collections, delicate or fragile materials, or rare documents and artifacts provided that they may be of some value to the museum and to patrons. Special considerations must be given to materials that are difficult to handle, in a destructive physical condition, difficult to read or view, or require environmental conditions the museum is not able to adequately provide.
The museum presumes that any acquisition comes without any restrictions, conditions, or encumbrances. Donations bearing restrictions must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must be brought to the museum Board of Directors for approval before the materials are to be permanently accessioned into the museum.
The museum encourages the acquisition of artifacts and documents that can be safely exhibited or displayed to the general public without potentially causing harm or hardship to these or other materials or to museum visitors and staff.
It is the museum’s intention to make any and all holdings available to the general public for research purposes. Materials with limited access and use potential must have reasonable justification for becoming part of the museum’s holdings.
Objects which do not contribute to the purpose and goals of the LBJ Museum of San Marcos are subject to removal from the collection, unless stipulated otherwise by the donor in writing. Any material selected for deaccessioning shall be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors. Objects may be removed from the permanent collection because it is no longer relevant to the Museum’s mission and purpose, is duplicated in the collection, has deteriorated beyond usefulness, or is incapable of being preserved and cared for.
Deaccessioned items shall be transferred to other museums of educational institutions, removed to a traveling exhibit or educational program within the Museum, or be discarded if severely deteriorating. Deaccessioned items may be sold at a public sale, the proceeds of which are to be used only for the direct benefit of the remaining collections, including acquisitions, preservation, and maintenance. Donors shall not be precluded from purchasing material at current market price or appraised value at public sale. No deaccessioned item shall be sold or conveyed to any LBJ Museum of San Marcos employee, volunteer, or member of the Board of Directors.
All deaccessioned items shall be accompanied by a report and documentation. Complete and open files shall be maintained by the Museum of all deaccessioned materials.
The LBJ Museum of San Marcos will accept and initiate renewable term loans only from organizations, institutions, or foundations whose aim and goals are consistent with those of the Museum. Such loans will be approved by the Board of Directors and for the purpose of enhancing the purpose of the Museum. Loans from individuals will only be accepted when used for temporary exhibition of research. The Museum will accept loans for storage only on a case-by-case basis. Complete records of all loan transactions must be kept by the Museum.
Incoming Loans
All incoming loans shall be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors. All such loans shall be for specific, limited periods of time. The LBJ Museum of San Marcos shall only return loan materials to the original lender or its duly authorized agent. Heirs must present legal proof of ownership before loan materials can be released to them.
Items on loan to the Museum shall be treated in the same manner as permanent collection items, the Museum being responsible for the maintenance and handling. However, insurance shall be carried by the lender unless other arrangements, in contractual format, are agreed upon in advance.
Upon reaching the termination date of a loan, if the lender or an authorized agent cannot be contacted, the loan materials will be placed in the custody of the Museum for 30 days following written notification. At the end of the notification period, the Museum’s responsibility for the object(s) will cease. The Museum has the right to store the loan materials at the lender’s risk and expense. Exceptions to this provision apply if the Museum assumes, in contractual agreement with the lender, the responsibility of delivering the loaned items to the lender.
Outgoing Loans
All loans from the LBJ Museum of San Marcos, except those materials released for conservation, must be approved by the Board of Directors. All loans from the Museum shall be for specific, limited periods of time and shall be subject to periodic inspection by the Museum staff or by its Board of Directors. Loaned objects may be recalled by giving 30 days notice to the borrower.
All rules and regulations governing loans from the LBJ Museum of San Marcos shall be clearly stated in a contractual agreement and agreed to by the borrower and the Museum prior to the exchange of custody.
Insurance for all materials loaned from the Museum will be carried by the borrower, who will provide the Museum with a portal-to-portal Certificate of Insurance. Any exceptions must be made in advance in a contractual document prior to the exchange of custody.
Records on collected material, permanent or loaned, shall be maintained by the Museum Director and a summary status presented to the Board of Directors at their discretion. Deeds of gift or contracts setting forth descriptions and conditions of the materials will accompany all items collected or loaned.
Professional Collections Management Standards
All physical and administrative care for the collections shall be conducted according to professional standards. The Museum shall conduct periodic evaluations of the collection paying attention to general and specific maintenance needs.
Personal Collection or Dealing
No employee or volunteer of the Museum may compete with the Museum in any personal collecting activity or use the Museum in order to promote their personal collecting.
Financial Appraisal or Valuation
Although all donations to the collection are tax-deductible, the donor accepts all responsibility for monetary valuation.
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