Donate to the Collection

Thank you for your interest in donating objects to the Keeler Tavern Museum collections. The Museum’s collection is made up largely of artifacts and documents donated by people like you, and we appreciate your desire to become involved in preserving our history.

While we would love to accept all offered donations, because of space and care requirements, we must consider every donation offer very carefully. The Museum will care for your object in perpetuity, so we need to be sure that we are the best new home for your donation. To determine whether Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center is the best fit for your object please complete an Object Donation Form to help the collections staff make a well-informed decision.

Object Donation Form


Object Donation FAQs

How do I donate artifacts or documents to KTM&HC?
If you have artifacts or documents that you believe would add to KTM&HC’s collection, please use this donation form to submit a description of your proposed donation.
Once the form is received, your proposed donation will be reviewed by a member of our curatorial team who will evaluate it as a new addition to the collection and contact you within 4 weeks. You may also be contacted for additional information about your donation. Should the curator choose to accept your donation, you will be contacted to arrange to have the donated materials shipped, picked up, or dropped off at KTM&HC. The final step is issuing a Deed of Gift for the donation, which legally transfers ownership of the property to KTM&HC.

N.B. All donations of artifacts or documents to the museum are unconditional and unrestricted.

Can I mail or drop off a donation?
KTM&HC cannot accept unsolicited donations through the mail or in person without your submission of an Object Donation Form.
How are potential donations reviewed?
All donation offers are reviewed by the curatorial staff. The curators use the criteria specified in the KTM&HC collecting scope, as well as its current collecting goals, to guide their decisions. They also take into consideration the condition of the object and the availability of KTM&HC resources required to store and care properly for the artifact or document, as well as cataloguing the material to make it accessible.
Accompanying cash contributions are encouraged to help process, conserve, properly store, and make readily available your donation.
Why might KTM&HC decline a donation?
While we sincerely appreciate you considering the donation of an object to KTM&HC, we have a very limited collection storage space and must be cognizant of the proper care of all our objects. Some common reasons a museum might decline the donation of an object:

  • The object is out of the museum’s scope (wrong subject, geographic area, etc.). We will try to provide you with a list of alternative museums that might be interested.
  • Duplicate(s) already in the collection: We might have similar objects of the same era already in our collection. We will try to provide you with a list of alternative museums that might be interested.
  • Poor condition: We must be very wary of accepting items in poor condition that may tax museum space and conservation resources or are too fragile to exhibit. Poor condition includes objects that are broken, missing pieces, badly stained or soiled.
  • Large size: We must be wary of accepting items that may tax our limited storage and display space.
  • “Condition gifts” and “Permanent loans”: Museums generally reject objects donated with “conditions”. For example, we cannot accept an object with the condition, “This item must always be on display.”
Will KTM&HC appraise my donation for its monetary value?
KTM&HC does not 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 desired, professional appraisers will perform this service for a fee. To find a licensed appraiser in your area, contact one of the following organizations for a referral:

Can I take a tax deduction for my donation?
KTM&HC is recognized as a qualified charitable organization; thus, 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 of your donation, tax form 8283.
To ensure that you receive the maximum tax benefit, 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.
Will KTM&HC exhibit the artifacts or documents in my donation?
Only a percentage of the museum’s collection can be displayed at any one time. KTM&HC cannot guarantee that any objects or documents donated to its collection will be exhibited unless expressly collected for that purpose.
Objects and documents are typically made accessible for research purposes.
Can artifacts and documents be removed from the KTM&HC collection?
KTM&HC may remove objects and documents through a process called deaccessioning. Artifacts or documents that are damaged beyond repair, have a condition that puts other parts of the collection at risk, are duplicative of other items in the collection, or are outside the scope of the collection may be considered for deaccessioning. Deaccessioned material may be donated to another museum or cultural or educational organization, destroyed, or sold. Any proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned material are placed in a restricted collection acquisition fund.

Object Donation Form