Public Act 90-0604
SB1292 Enrolled LRB9009075YYmgA
AN ACT in relation to museums.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
Section 1. Short Title. This Act may be cited as the
Museum Disposition of Property Act.
Section 5. Purposes. The purposes of this Act are to
establish the ownership of loaned property that has been
abandoned by the lender or undocumented property held by a
museum, to establish uniform procedures for the termination
of loans of property to museums, to allow museums to conserve
or dispose of loaned or undocumented property under certain
conditions, and to limit actions to recover loaned or
Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act, unless the
context requires otherwise:
"Museum" means an institution or entity located in
(i) is operated by a non-profit corporation, trust,
association, public agency, or educational institution;
(ii) is operated primarily for educational,
scientific, historic preservation, cultural, or aesthetic
(iii) owns, borrows, cares for, exhibits, studies,
archives, or catalogues property.
"Museum" includes, but is not limited to, historical
societies, historic sites, landmarks, parks, archives,
monuments, botanical gardens, arboreta, zoos, nature centers,
planetaria, aquaria, libraries, technology centers, and art,
history, science, and natural history museums.
"Property" means documents or tangible objects, animate
or inanimate, in the custody of a museum.
"Person" means an individual, association, partnership,
corporation, trust, estate, or other entity having a legal
interest in property in the custody of a museum.
"Lender" means a person whose name appears on the records
of a museum as the person legally entitled to property held
by the museum.
"Claimant" means a person, other than the lender of
record, who claims to be legally entitled to, or who
establishes his or her legal entitlement to, property held by
"Lender's or claimant's address" means a description of
the most recent location of a lender or claimant, as
indicated on the museum's records pertaining to the property
on loan from the lender or claimant, sufficient for the
purpose of delivering mail.
"Loan" means a deposit of property with a museum that is
not accompanied by a transfer of title to the property or
other evidence of donative intent; however, "loan" does not
include a consignment of property for sale.
"Permanent loan" means a loan of property to a museum for
an indefinite term.
"Undocumented property" means property:
(i) that is held by a museum;
(ii) that is assumed to be a gift to the museum;
(iii) whose ownership cannot be determined by
reference to the museum's records.
Section 15. Notice Requirements.
(a) In addition to any other information that may be
appropriate for a particular notice, all notices given under
this Act must contain the following information:
(1) the lender's or claimant's name, if known;
(2) the lender's or claimant's address, if known;
(3) a brief description of the property on loan to
(4) the date of the loan, if known, or the
approximate date the property came into the custody of
(5) the name of the museum; and
(6) the name, address, and telephone number of the
appropriate museum official or office to be contacted
regarding the property.
(b) A notice mailed to a lender or claimant shall be
sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the
lender's or claimant's address. The notice shall be mailed on
a "restricted delivery" basis when the notice is directed to
a natural person. Notice is deemed given if the museum
receives, within 60 days of mailing the notice, a return
receipt showing delivery to the lender or claimant. The date
of a notice for purposes of this Act is deemed to be the date
of delivery to the person to whom it was sent.
(c) If notice is not given in accordance with subsection
(b) or if, after a diligent search of its records, a museum
does not know the identity of the lender or any claimant or
have the lender's or claimant's address, notice may be given
by publication, in which case notice shall be published:
(1) for at least once per week for 3 successive
weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county
or municipality in which the museum is located; and
(2) if the museum has in its records the lender's
or claimant's address, for at least once per week for 3
successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in
the county or municipality in which the lender's or
claimant's address is located.
For purposes of this Act, the date of a notice given
under this subsection (c) shall be the date of the last
published notice under either subdivision (1) or (2),
whichever is later.
Section 20. Conservation or Disposal of Loaned Property.
(a) Unless there is a written loan agreement to the
contrary, a museum may apply conservation measures to or
dispose of undocumented property or property on loan to the
museum without the lender's or claimant's permission or
formal notice if immediate action is required to protect the
property on loan or other property in the custody of the
museum, or because the property on loan has become a hazard
to the health and safety of the public or to the museum's
staff, and if one of the following applies:
(1) the property poses an immediate destructive
risk to the museum's staff or collection or the general
public, in which case the museum may dispose of the
property without delay and shall notify the lender of the
action taken within 30 days;
(2) the museum is unable to reach the lender or
claimant at the lender's or claimant's address or phone
number, if the action is to be taken within 30 days of
the time the museum determines the action is necessary;
(3) the museum contacts the lender and the lender
or claimant does not agree to the protective measures the
museum recommends and does not or is unable to terminate
the loan and collect the property within the time the
museum determines the action is necessary.
(b) Unless an agreement provides otherwise, a museum
that applies conservation measures to or disposes of loaned
property in accordance with subsection (a):
(1) acquires and may enforce a lien on the loaned
property in the amount of the costs incurred by the
(2) is not liable to the lender or claimant for
damage to, or loss of, the loaned property if the museum:
(A) had a reasonable belief at the time the
action was taken that the action was necessary to
protect the loaned property or other property in the
custody of the museum, or that the loaned property
was a hazard to the health and safety of the public
or to the museum's staff; and
(B) exercised reasonable care in choosing and
applying the conservation measures.
Section 30. Notice of Intent to Terminate a Loan;
Acquiring Title to Loaned Property.
(a) A museum may acquire title to loaned property
pursuant to this Section. A museum may give notice of the
museum's intent to terminate a loan of property at any time
(1) the property was loaned to the museum for an
indefinite term; or
(2) the property was loaned to the museum for a
specified term, and that term has expired.
(b) A mailed notice of intent to terminate a loan shall
include a statement containing substantially the following
"The records of (name of museum) indicate that you have
property on loan to it. The museum hereby terminates the
loan. If you desire to claim the property, you must contact
the museum, establish your ownership of the property, and
make arrangements to collect the property. If you fail to do
so within one year after the date of this notice, you will be
considered to have donated the property to the museum."
(c) If a lender or claimant does not respond to the
notice of intent to terminate the loan within one year from
the date of the notice, the museum acquires title to the
property and may sell, dispose of, or retain the property.
(d) If a lender or claimant responds to the notice of
intent to terminate the loan within one year from the date of
the notice, but does not collect the property within 90 days
from the date of his or her response, and unless a loan
agreement provides otherwise, the museum may place the
property in storage and the museum acquires and may enforce a
lien on the property in the amount of the costs incurred. If
the lender or claimant fails to make arrangements to collect
the property after one year from the date of notice, the
museum acquires title to the property and may sell, dispose
of, or retain the property.
Section 35. Acquiring Title to Undocumented Property.
Property in the possession of a museum for which the museum
does not know the owner or have any reasonable means of
determining the owner becomes the property of the museum if
no person has claimed the property within 7 years after the
museum can document possession of the property. The museum
becomes the owner of the property on the day after the 7-year
period ends, free from all claims. This Section does not
apply to stolen or confiscated property.
Section 40. Limitation on Actions Against Museums.
(a) No action shall be brought against a museum or its
employees, agents, officers, or trustees for damages because
of injury or damage to, or loss of, property loaned to the
museum more than 2 years after the date the museum gives the
lender or claimant notice of the damage or loss.
(b) No action shall be brought against a museum or its
employees, agents, officers, or trustees to recover loaned or
undocumented property more than 2 years after the date the
museum gives the lender or claimant notice of its intent to
terminate the loan or notice of the museum's assertion of
title to undocumented property.
(c) No action shall be brought against a museum or its
employees, agents, officers, or trustees to recover loaned
property more than 2 years after the expiration date of the
last written contract between the lender or claimant and the
museum as evidenced by the museum's records.
(d) A lender or claimant is deemed to have donated
loaned property to a museum if the lender or claimant fails
to contact the museum and establish his or her claim to the
property to the satisfaction of the museum or fails to file
an action to recover the property on loan to the museum
within the period specified in subsections (b) and (c).
(e) A person who purchases property from a museum
acquires title to the property if the museum represents that
it has acquired title to the property pursuant to this Act.
(f) Notwithstanding subsections (d) and (e), a lender or
claimant who was not given notice of intent to terminate a
loan or notice of the museum's assertion of title to
undocumented property as prescribed herein, respectively, and
who proves that the museum received a satisfactory notice of
interest in the property, may recover the property or, if the
property has been disposed of, the reasonable value of the
property at the time the property was discarded. The amount
received by the museum upon a sale made in good faith of the
loaned property shall be regarded as the prima facie evidence
of that value, and in no event shall any recovery include
interest or an amount to compensate for currency devaluation
or inflation, or both.
(g) A museum is not liable at any time, in the absence
of a court order, for returning property to the original
lender, even if a claimant other than the lender of record
has filed a notice of interest in the property. If persons
claim competing interest in property in the custody of a
museum, the burden is upon the claimants to prove their
interest in an action in equity initiated by a claimant. A
museum is not liable at any time for returning property to an
uncontested claimant who produces reasonable proof of
Section 45. Obligations.
(a) Obligations of a museum.
(1) A museum holding loaned property on or after
the effective date of this Act shall notify the lender,
if known, by mail, of the provisions of this Act within
the term of the loan but not more than 5 years after the
effective date of this Act. A museum accepting a loan of
property on or after the effective date of this Act shall
inform the lender in writing at the time of the loan of
the provisions of this Act. A copy of this Act or a
citation to the provisions of this Act within the loan
agreement shall fulfill this obligation.
(2) A museum is responsible for notifying a lender
or claimant of the museum's change of address or
(3) A museum shall retain all written records
regarding property acquired under this Act for at least
10 years or until the dissolution of the museum,
whichever occurs earlier.
(b) Obligations of a lender or claimant.
(1) A lender, a lender's heir or legal agent, or a
claimant is responsible for notifying the museum
promptly, in writing, if there is any change in ownership
of the objects (whether through inter vivos transfer or
death) or if there is a change in the identity or address
of the lender.
(2) A lender or claimant may file with the museum a
written notice of interest in the property. A notice of
interest in the property shall:
(A) contain an adequate description of the
property to enable the museum to identify the
(B) be accompanied by documentation sufficient
to establish the lender or claimant as the owner of
the property; and
(C) be signed under penalty of perjury by the
lender or claimant, or by a person authorized to act
on behalf of the lender or claimant.
The filing of a notice of interest in the property
on loan to a museum does not validate or make enforceable
any claim which would be extinguished under the terms of
a written agreement, or which would otherwise be invalid
Section 50. Miscellaneous Provisions.
(a) This Act does not abrogate the rights and
obligations of a lender, claimant, or museum identified in a
(b) This Act applies to all property held by or in the
custody of a museum on or after the effective date of this
(c) This Act does not preclude a museum from availing
itself of any other statutory or judicial method of
establishing or perfecting title to property in the museum's
(d) If a museum's right under this Act is wrongfully
challenged, the museum shall have the right to recover its
costs and expenses and reasonable attorney's fees.
Section 900. The Department of Natural Resources Act is
amended by changing Section 1-25 as follows:
(20 ILCS 801/1-25)
Sec. 1-25. Powers of the scientific surveys and State
Museum. In addition to its other powers and duties, the
Department shall have the following powers and duties which
shall be performed by the scientific surveys and the State
(1) To investigate and study the natural resources
of the State and to prepare printed reports and furnish
information fundamental to the conservation and
development of natural resources and for that purpose the
officers and employees thereof may, pursuant to rule
adopted by the Department, enter and cross all lands in
this State, doing no damage to private property.
(2) To cooperate with and advise departments having
administrative powers and duties relating to the natural
resources of the State, and to cooperate with similar
departments in other states and with the United States
(3) To conduct a natural history survey of the
State, giving preference to subjects of educational and
(4) To publish, from time to time, reports covering
the entire field of zoology and botany of the State.
(5) To supply natural history specimens to the
State educational institutions and to the public schools.
(6) To investigate the entomology of the State.
(7) To investigate all insects dangerous or
injurious to agricultural or horticultural plants and
crops, livestock, to nursery trees and plants, to the
products of the truck farm and vegetable garden, to shade
trees and other ornamental vegetation of cities and
villages, to the products of the mills and the contents
of warehouses, and all insects injurious or dangerous to
the public health.
(8) To conduct experiments with methods for the
prevention, arrest, abatement and control of insects
injurious to persons or property.
(9) To instruct the people, by lecture,
demonstration or bulletin, in the best methods of
preserving and protecting their property and health
against injuries by insects.
(10) To publish, from time to time, articles on the
injurious and beneficial insects of the State.
(11) To study the geological formation of the State
with reference to its resources of coal, ores, clays,
building stones, cement, materials suitable for use in
the construction of roads, gas, mineral and artesian
water and other products.
(12) To publish, from time to time, topographical,
geological and other maps to illustrate resources of the
(13) To publish, from time to time, bulletins
giving a general and detailed description of the
geological and mineral resources, including water
resources, of the State.
(14) To cooperate with United States federal
agencies in the preparation and completion of a contour
topographic map and the collection, recording and
printing of water and atmospheric resource data including
stream flow measurements and to collect facts and data
concerning the volumes and flow of underground, surface
and atmospheric waters of the State and to determine the
mineral qualities of water from different geological
formations and surface and atmospheric waters for the
various sections of the State.
(15) To publish, from time to time, the results of
its investigations of the mineral qualities, volumes and
flow of underground and surface waters of the State to
the end that the available water resources of the State
may be better known and to make mineral analyses of
samples of water from municipal or private sources giving
no opinion from those analyses of the hygienic,
physiological or medicinal qualities of such waters.
(16) To act as the central data repository and
research coordinator for the State in matters related to
water and atmospheric resources. The State Water Survey
Division of the Department may monitor and evaluate all
weather modification operations in Illinois.
(17) To distribute, in its discretion, to the
various educational institutions of the State, specimens,
samples, and materials collected by it after the same
have served the purposes of the Department.
(18) To cooperate with the Illinois State Academy
of Science and to publish a suitable number of the
results of the investigations and research in the field
of natural science to the end that the same may be
distributed to the interested public.
(19) To maintain a State Museum, and to collect and
preserve objects of scientific and artistic value,
representing past and present fauna and flora, the life
and work of man, geological history, natural resources,
and the manufacturing and fine arts; to interpret for and
educate the public concerning the foregoing.
(20) To cooperate with the Illinois State Museum
Society for the mutual benefit of the Museum and the
Society, with the Museum furnishing necessary space for
the Society to carry on its functions and keep its
records, and, upon the recommendation of the Museum
Director with the approval of the Board of State Museum
Advisors and the Director of the Department, to enter
into agreements with the Illinois State Museum Society
for the operation of a sales counter and other
concessions for the mutual benefit of the Museum and the
(21) To accept grants of property and to hold
property to be administered as part of the State Museum
for the purpose of preservation, research of
interpretation of significant areas within the State for
the purpose of preserving, studying and interpreting
archaeological and natural phenomena.
(22) To contribute to and support the operations,
programs and capital development of public museums in
this State. For the purposes of this Section, "public
museum" means a facility: (A) that is operating for the
purposes of promoting cultural development through
special activities or programs, and acquiring,
conserving, preserving, studying, interpreting,
enhancing, and in particular, organizing and continuously
exhibiting specimens, artifacts, articles, documents and
other things of historical, anthropological,
archaeological, industrial, scientific or artistic
import, to the public for its instruction and enjoyment,
and (B) that either (i) is operated by or located upon
land owned by a unit of local government or (ii) is a
museum that has an annual attendance of at least 150,000
and offers educational programs to school groups during
school hours. A museum is eligible to receive funds for
capital development under this subdivision (22) only if
it is operated by or located upon land owned by a unit of
local government. Recipients of funds for capital
development under this subdivision (22) shall match State
funds with local or private funding at a ratio of $2 from
local and private funds for every $1 in State funds.
The Department shall formulate rules and regulations
relating to the allocation of any funds appropriated by
the General Assembly for the purpose of contributing to
the support of public museums in this State.
(23) To perform all other duties and assume all
obligations of the former Department of Energy and
Natural Resources and the former Department of
Registration and Education pertaining to the State Water
Survey, the State Geological Survey, the State Natural
History Survey, and the State Museum.
(24) To maintain all previously existing
relationships between the State Water Survey, State
Geological Survey, and State Natural History Survey and
the public and private colleges and universities in
(25) To participate in federal geologic mapping
(Source: P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96.)
Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect on
January 1, 1999.