The State Museum, State Library and State Archives are temporarily Closed.

Incorporating an Education Corporation

In New York State, education corporations are created by the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York. As the senior educational authority in New York State, the Board of Regents oversees the State's educational system. Nonprofit organizations and institutions with educational purposes seeking to incorporate, must do so under Education Law § 216, subject to the authority of the Regents.

While every other state views cultural agencies as nonprofit businesses, New York treats them as educational organizations. This is a significant difference because the underlying assumption of Education Law, as implemented by the Rules of the Regents, is that the Board of Regents will evaluate the quality of an organization or institution that seeks to be incorporated.

Although the process of incorporating cultural agencies in New York State is a regulatory function, the posture of the Board of Regents and the staff of the State Education Department is developmental. Fostering the evolution of excellent cultural agencies in New York State is the primary objective of the policies governing incorporation. New York's wide range of excellent cultural agencies is recognized by the Board of Regents as one of our State's most important educational resources.

There are two different incorporation types within the New York State Education Department; charter and certificate of incorporation. For this instance, charters are only granted to museums and historical socities with collections, while certificate of incorporation are granted to cultural agencies that do not own collections.

Regents Rules: Deaccessioning

(8) Collection care means the responsibility and function of an institution that involves developing and implementing policies and procedures to protect the long-term integrity of objects, artifacts, records and specimens, as well as their associated data and documentation, for use in research, education and exhibits.

(9) Collection management means the responsibility and function of an institution, through its collections managers, subject specialists, curators, and other institutional administrators to foster the preservation, accessibility, and utility of the institution's collections and associated data, including recommending and implementing policy with respect to: artifact, record or specimen acquisition, collection growth, and deaccessioning; planning and establishing collection priorities; obtaining, allocating, and managing resources; and coordinating collection processes with the needs of curation, preservation, and collection use.

(10) Deaccession means: (a) removing an object from an institution's collection or (b) the act of recording/processing a removal from an institution's collection.

(6) Collections Care and Management. The institution shall:

(i) own, maintain and/or exhibit original tangible objects, artifacts, records, specimens, buildings, archeological remains, properties, lands and/or other tangible and intrinsically valuable resources that are appropriate to its mission;

(ii) ensure that the acquisition and deaccessioning of its collection is consistent with its corporate purposes and mission statement; 

(iii) have a written collections management policy providing clear standards to guide institutional decisions regarding the collection, that is in regular use, available to the public upon request, filed with the Commissioner for inspection by anyone wishing to examine it; and which, at a minimum, satisfactorily addresses the following subject areas:

(a) Acquisition. The criteria and processes used for determining what items are added to the collections;

(b) Loans. The criteria and processes used for borrowing items owned by other institutions and individuals, and for lending items from the collections;

(c) Preservation. A statement of intent to ensure the adequate care and preservation of collections;

(d) Access. A statement indicating intent to allow reasonable access to the collections by persons with legitimate reasons to access them; and

(e) Deaccession. The criteria and process (including levels of permission) used for determining what items are to be removed from the collections, and a statement limiting the use of any funds derived therefrom in accordance with subparagraph (vii) below;

(iv) ensure that collections or any individual part thereof and the proceeds derived therefrom shall not be used as collateral for a loan;

(v) ensure that collections shall not be capitalized; and

(vi) ensure that proceeds derived from the deaccessioning of any property from the institution's collection be restricted in a separate fund to be used only for the acquisition, preservation, protection or care of collections. In no event shall proceeds derived from the deaccessioning of any property from the collection be used for operating expenses or for any purposes other than the acquisition, preservation, protection or care of collections.

Rules and Regulations

All New York State Board of Regents incorporated organizations have to follow certain rules and regulations in order to be in good standing:

To understand what it means to be a trustee or board member

Property of museum/ historical society 

Annual Report

NY Ed. Law §215:  "The regents, or the commissioner of education, or their representatives, may visit, examine into and inspect, any institution in the university and any school or institution under the educational supervision of the state, and may require, as often as desired, duly verified reports therefrom giving such information and in such form as the regents or the commissioner of education shall prescribe. For refusal or continued neglect on the part of any institution in the university to make any report required, or for violation of any law or any rule of the university, the regents may suspend the charter or any of the rights and privileges of such institution." 

8 NYCRR 3.27  & 3.30: Each institution shall file with the commissioner an annual report, in a form prescribed by the commissioner, which records the educational and cultural activities of the institution and presents an accurate statement of all financial operations. Each institution shall include in its annual report a list of all items or item lots deaccessioned in the past year and all items or item lots disposed of in the past year.

Electronic Annual Report is available. Please have the 2018 annual report submitted by July 1, 2019

Document Request

To request copies of a charter or Regents certificate of incorporation please contact either of the two offices below and provide then with the name of the organization and the date the charter/certificate was issued.

New York State Archives
New York State Education Department
Cultural Education Center
Albany NY 12230
Phone: (518) 474-8955 

New York State Board of Regents
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Board of Regents, Room 110 EB
Albany NY 12234
Phone: (518) 474-5889 

The most recent Regents charter agenda can be found here


For copies of institutional policies please contact the New York State Chartering Office

Contact Chartering

Chartering Program
New York State Education Department
C/o Lauren Lyons
Room 3023, Cultural Education Center
Albany NY 12230
Phone: (518) 486-3843