Frequently Asked Questions
Donate to the Collection
What kind of information do I need to provide about the item I wish to donate?
What is the process for consideration of my donation?
Can I mail or drop off a donation?
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.
How are potential donations reviewed?
How long does it take for the Museum to review proposed donations?
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 firsthand 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.
What is a deed of gift?
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 cosigned by the Museum's director. Your receipt of this cosigned document indicates that your property has been legally transferred to the Museum in perpetuity.
Will the Museum appraise my donation for its monetary value?
Can I take a tax deduction for my donation?
Will the Museum exhibit the items in my donation?
If I donate artifacts or documents, will they be returned to me at my request?
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.
Can artifacts and documents be removed from the Museum collection?
Does the Museum accept long-term loans?
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.
How do researchers access artifacts and documents in the Museum's collection?
Will the Museum keep me apprised of the use of my donated materials?
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.