Wellesley Township Heritage and Historical Society
The WTHHS collects, preserves and makes available artifacts and archives related to the history and development of Wellesley Township. The collection is maintained in the Society's Historical Room, located in the old school, 1137 Henry Street, Wellesley.
The Society will endeavour to use professional standards in collecting, documenting, researching, conserving, storing and displaying artifacts and archival documents.
All purchases and donations will be assessed against the following criteria:
Relevance - artifacts and archives will be acquired only if they support the Society's mandate including
• photographs and narratives associated with Wellesley Township’s early settlers and its built heritage
• Objects associated with the significant events, individuals and circumstances that impacted upon life in Wellesley Township
Condition - artifacts will be acquired if they can be properly documented, preserved and presented. In order to ensure professional stewardship of artifacts, the Society is primarily interested in acquiring artifacts that are in good condition with associated documentation. Exceptions may be made in the case of rare or unique artifacts that have a direct linkage to a significant event, individual or circumstance associated will Wellesley Township.
The Society will not acquire artifacts (historic objects and archival materials) under the following conditions:
• The donor or individual selling the artifact is not able to prove legal title or the legal title of an artifact in not clear or hindered.
• The artifacts have been acquired illegally, such as through theft or unauthorized excavation of a historical/archaeological site.
• The ownership or provenance of an artifact is questionable and not thoroughly documented.
Methods of Acquisition:
The Society may acquire artifacts (historic objects and archival materials) through donation, purchase, and bequest. All such acquisition is unconditional. Once the title of ownership for an artifact has been transferred to the WTHHS, the Society has full discretionary stewardship of the artifact. The source of acquisition will be recognized but the original owner has transferred their vested interest in the artifact to the Society. Donations or bequests that are conditional will not be accepted.
1. To acquire artifacts, the transfer of ownership must be accompanied by a legal document such as a WTHHS donation form signed by the donor and a party representing the Society. One copy of this donation form will be provided to the donor and a copy will be placed on file with the Society records.
An income-tax receipt for a donation can be provided by the Township of Wellesley if a legitimate appraisal has been done by a third party stating the fair market value for the object. The cost of this appraisal is usually borne by the donor, although the Township may agree to pay for this expense if the artifact is of rare and unique status.
2. If a purchase of an artifact is to be made in the name of the Township of Wellesley, the Township will receive a Bill of Sale for the transaction, as well as the name, address, and telephone number of the vendor involved. A copy of this Bill of Sale is then provided to the Society for its record-keeping regarding the ownership of the object.
3. For bequeaths, the Society will receive a copy of the relevant section of the will stating the bequest. This documentation is to be retained by the Society to document the transfer of ownership of the artifact.
Ethics of Acquisition
As accountable stewards of Township history, the WTHHS adheres to the following legislation that is specific to the stewardship of heritage collections:
• The Ontario Heritage Act (1974) as well as any subsequent revisions
• The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O., 1990.
• The Copyright Act (1970, C.30: 1988, C.30).
• In addition, the Wellesley Heritage/Historical Society will abide by the following:
• The Archivist’s Code of Ethics, Association of Canadian Archivists
• Ethics Guidelines, Canadian Museums Association
• Allocation of Financial Resources:
The Township of Wellesley shall determine the allocation of acquisition funding from dedicated endowment funds as well as any new funds that are provided to finance the acquisition of artifacts when appropriate and desired. Financial resources will also be allocated for the appraisal of objects that are being donated to the Society so that the Township can issue income-tax receipts.