The purpose of the Collections Policy is to guide the curation of the plants that are accessioned and maintained by the Botanic Garden of Smith College in the Lyman Conservatory, campus arboretum, named gardens, campus plantings, and natural areas. The Collections Policy enumerates priorities for the plant collections in order to guide decisions about the acquisition, deaccessioning, and management of materials.

The Collections Policy sets a vision for an ideal collection in order to balance the mission of the Botanic Garden, the desires of curators, the needs of stakeholders (including students, faculty, staff, alumnae, Botanic Gardens Friends, and the general public), and educational opportunities with the Botanic Garden’s available resources. The Collections Policy does not depict a clear endpoint for the collection; rather it provides a thoughtful and vetted rationale for increasing the overall value of the collections measured against the Collections Policy’s own stated priorities and goals. Finally, the Collections Policy provides transparency about how accessioning and deaccessioning decisions are made by Botanic Garden staff.