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Four Harvard museums located on Oxford St. will charge admission to non-Harvard visitors as soon as it is feasible, Stephen Williams, chairman of the University Museum Council, said yesterday.
Williams said the museums will not charge admission to members of the Harvard community under the plan and added that museums will not collect the new fees until some time after July 1.
The four museums which will charge admission, known collectively as the University Museum, are the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the Botanical Museum, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and the Mineralogical and Geological Museum.
Suzannah F. Doeringer, assistant director of the Fogg Art Museum, said yesterday the Fogg "feels very strongly that it should not charge admission" and has no plans to begin imposing an admissions fee.
Hale Champion, former vice president for financial affairs, said last November the museums might start charging admission as a means of increasing revenue.
Doeringer said yesterday Champion never spoke to anyone at the Fogg about implementing an admission fee.
Sources at the University Museum said they would probably charge one dollar for adults, 50 cents for children, and 25 cents for school groups from outside Cambridge.
"We have a firm agreement that Cambridge school children will never be charged admission," Williams added.
"The whole question of getting adequate space" for entrances, turnstyles, and other physical equipment has delayed implementation of the fees, Williams said.
Because Massachusetts law prohibits state-funded museums like the Museum of Comparative Zoology from charging admission, the state legislature recently exempted Harvard from this rule.
The University Planning Office designed plans for the renovation and submitted them for approval to Richard G. Leahy, assistant dean for resources and planning, Harold L. Gouette, director of planning, said yesterday.
Williams said economic problems and crowd control difficulties made the fee necessary, because the University Museum had "only a $542 surplus on a $1.2 million budget last hear," and also wants to "make sure the people who come in really want to see the museum."
Doeringer said the Fogg had a budget surplus in 1976 and "is hoping to break even this year," adding there would be "technical problems with checking 500 students who come to class every hour."
The Fogg, however, did place a "voluntary contribution box at its main entrance 6 weeks ago" to encourage optional contributions.
The Busch Reisenger Museum is a department of the Fogg Art Museum and will not charge admission when the fees take effect, a spokesman at the Busch Reisinger said yesterday
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