If you have artifacts, images or other items of relevance to the history of 9/11 that you believe might interest the Museum’s curators, please complete a collections donation form.
On the form, please describe your proposed donation and provide your preferred contact information. If you are unable to access the form, please call 212.312.8800 and request that a form be mailed to you. Please include a picture of the item and its measurements with the form. Your completed form may be mailed to the address below, or sent via email.
9/11 Memorial Museum Director of Collections 200 Liberty Street, 16th Floor New York, NY 10281 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Receipt of your form will be acknowledged within four weeks’ time. Your donation will be evaluated by a curator, who may follow up with any questions. If your proposed donation fits the criteria of the Museum’s collecting policy, it will be recommended for consideration to the Museum’s Collections Committee. Upon review by the committee, you will be contacted regarding next steps. If you have further questions about this process, or wish to check on the status of your form under review, please contact us at email@example.com.
The Museum cannot accept unsolicited donations through the mail or in person without your prior submission of a donation form and its acknowledgement by Museum staff. The Museum reserves the right to dispose of unsolicited items.
Donation offers are evaluated by the Museum's Collections Committee. The committee is composed of professional curators and other staff members knowledgeable in both the scope of the Museum’s collection and the conservation issues associated with artifact care, as well as the policies that govern the acquisition process.
The committee’s decision will be guided by the content criteria specified in the institution’s Collections Management Policy and informed by the Museum’s current goals for acquisitions. The condition of the item may also be considered in light of Museum resources required to properly house and care for it. Clarity and history of ownership, copyright, and similarity to items already in the Museum’s collection may also factor into acquisition decisions.
Typically, the process will take about 8 to 12 weeks from the time your completed form has been received. If your donation offer is submitted for consideration to the Collections Committee, a member of the Collections team may contact you to make arrangements to have the item shipped or dropped off for first-hand inspection. If the item does not require physical inspection and fits the Museum’s collecting criteria, you will hear from a member of the Collections team soon after the Collections Committee review of the donation.
The final step in the donation process involves completing Deed of Gift paperwork for the donation, to document its legal transfer to the Museum. On this form, you will be asked to specify a credit line for the donation which shall accompany the item whenever it is publicly used or displayed. Once the Deed of Gift has been completed by the donor, it will be co-signed by the Museum Director. Your receipt of this co-signed document indicates that your property has been legally transferred to the Memorial Museum in perpetuity.
The Museum does not provide appraisals of the monetary value of your donation. The Internal Revenue Service deems this a conflict of interest, as museums and libraries are “interested parties” and their primary purpose is to acquire and safeguard materials for the public’s educational benefit. Monetary appraisals prepared by such not-for-profit institutions are subject to disqualification by the IRS. However, professional appraisers will perform this service for a fee. To find a licensed appraiser in your area, you may wish to contact one of the following organizations for a referral.
American Society of AppraisersInternational Society of Appraisers Appraisers Association of America
The 9/11 Memorial Museum is recognized as a qualified charitable organization. Consequently, the fair market value of your donated materials is generally tax deductible. To take advantage of your deduction, you must file tax form 1040 and, depending on the value or estimated value of your donation, tax form 8283. It is recommended that you consult with your own accountant, attorney, and/or the Internal Revenue Service. You may also consult Internal Revenue Service Publication No. 526, Charitable Contributions, and Publication No. 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property.
The Museum cannot guarantee that any object or image donated to its collection will be exhibited in perpetuity, or temporarily, unless expressly collected for that purpose. Like most museums, only a small fraction of our collection is on view at any given time. Conservation practices also require that certain types of material periodically “rest” from exposure factors such as light, which can diminish or harm the integrity of the object over time. All items accepted into the permanent collection serve as a valuable resource for research and education, and may rotate onto public view from time to time. Uses include display in special and core-history exhibitions, short-term loans to other approved museums and libraries, educational programs, and Museum publications, collections catalogue and web features.
The Museum cannot return donated items or records to the donor or his/her heirs once they have been legally accessioned into the permanent collection. By donating your materials to the Museum, you are passing private control of such material to a new owner or educational entity on behalf of the public whose historical understanding will be deepened through access to primary historical evidence.
The Museum may, with approval from the Board of Directors, remove objects and documents from the collection through a process called deaccessioning. Artifacts or documents that are damaged beyond repair, have a condition that puts other parts of the collection or the staff and public at physical risk, are a duplication of other items in the collection, or are outside the interpretive scope of the collection may be considered for deaccessioning. This practice is a rarity, and will be undertaken only for exceptional reasons. Deaccessioned material may be transferred to another museum or cultural/educational organization, destroyed, or sold. Any proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned material are placed in a restricted acquisition fund to further enrich the quality and scope of the Museum’s permanent collection.
The Museum rarely accepts items on long-term or indefinite loan. While it does accept privately owned material for certain research and short-term display uses, the Museum prefers to commit its storage resources to the preservation of materials in the permanent collection.
Select items in the Museum’s collection are often featured through the organization’s website and related public communications. Direct access to collection items that are off-view and in storage may be arranged by advance appointment. Please contact the Museum’s Collections Registrar for further information regarding access, at: 212-312-8822. Unprocessed materials, however, may not be available for viewing until they have been fully cataloged.
As a courtesy, Museum staff will try to inform you of plans to exhibit, publish or make educational use of your donated item. In order to do so, you must keep your contact information up to date with the Museum’s Collections Registrar. Updating your address, e-mail and/or preferred method of contact information is the most reliable way the Museum can pursue communication with you in the future. Please call the number above or email firstname.lastname@example.org if your contact information has changed.