Considering Artifact Donation?
The NHM Collections Process
- GATHER INFO Museum Collections Department staff members interview the donor for more information about the history and condition of their item(s).
- ASSESSMENT A Collections committee evaluates how each item fits into existing collections and assesses the Museum’s capacity to properly store and care for the item.
- DECISION Museum staff discuss their assessment with the donor and decide whether or not the item(s) will be added to the NHM Collections.
- TRANSFER If accepted, Museum staff works with the donor to bring item(s) into the archives and complete a Receipt of Temporary Transference.
- PROCESSING A Deed of Gift document is completed and the item(s) are formally accessioned into the NHM Collections.
- PRESERVATION Item(s) are properly stored to ensure lasting preservation – which comes at a rising cost. Staff on the NHM Collections team use industry standards and best practices to conserve and preserve each donation.
- LEGACY Item(s) are cataloged and described in the NHM Collections database. Item(s) may be displayed in exhibits, used in educational programs, or studied for research purposes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What kind of items should I donate?
The Museum is especially interested in collecting artifacts and archives that reflect the Greek American experience throughout the United States. When evaluating potential donations, the NHM looks for items that reflect stories of immigration, Greek American culture and religion, family history and genealogical data, and portrayals of work and home life.
Can I mail or drop off a donation?
The Museum does not accept donations through the mail or in person unless prior arrangements have been made with the appropriate curatorial or Collections staff member.
Where else can I donate?
Once we meet with you, we may recommend that your item be given to other local museums, historical societies, shelters, nursing homes, or veterans organizations.
Will I be able to see my items on display?
The Museum cannot guarantee that any items donated will be exhibited. Artifacts and documents are regularly rotated in and out of exhibitions, so they can be better protected from the elements that may cause damage and/or deterioration. We also rotate artifacts to increase access to the many objects in our collections.
Can you appraise my items?
We cannot provide appraisals of the monetary value of materials proposed for donation or for any other reason because the Internal Revenue Service regards museums and libraries as interested parties.
If I donate items to the Museum, will they be returned to me at my request?
Once the Museum accepts your donation for the collection, you will be asked to sign a Deed of Gift, which legally transfers ownership of the materials to the Museum. We cannot return these accessioned collection materials to donors. However, if at any time you would like to see your items, we are more than happy to accommodate you in any way we can.
Support the NHM Collections
Collection growth and preservation goes beyond donating your family’s items. Artifacts, books, manuscripts, and digital media files require special care, shelving, and preservation.
These important activities require Museum specialists to properly store, handle, and provide access to our culturally significant holdings. Please consider making a financial donation to the Collections Department to ensure our unique NHM Collections are preserved for future generations.
Call 312-655-1234 x28 or email firstname.lastname@example.org