Donate an object

Curator and quilt


If you have an item that you think might be perfect for our collection, please let us know about it; however, we ask that you don’t bring it to the museum or send it by post without arranging with us first. Before you get in touch, please read the below information carefully.

Before you contact us

You may find it useful to read our Collections Development Policy.

Please be aware that:

  • We are unable to give valuations
  • We don’t accept items on long-term loan
  • We cannot acquire material where current ownership is unknown or could be disputed
  • We can’t accept hazardous items. Hazardous items include firearms, objects containing asbestos, and explosive, flammable, poisonous, potentially carcinogenic or radioactive material
  • Objects from American donors may be eligible for favourable tax treatment in the US. Please note your interest when you write to us and we can provide further details.

How to get in touch

Contact us in writing using the details below. Provide us with as much information as possible about the objects themselves and how you acquired them, including photographs if possible.

Email: [email protected]

Write to: Object Donations, American Museum & Gardens, Claverton Manor, Bath, BA2 7BD

Each donation is checked on a case-by-case basis, so it may take up to 12 weeks to respond to your enquiry.

If your donation meets the criteria of our Collections Development Policy and is suitable for the collection, is in good condition with good documentation we will make a recommendation to our Collections & Exhibition Committee to formally add it to the collection. At this stage we may request additional information from you to help our Committee to make an informed decision.

In some circumstances your donation may be more appropriate for work with educational groups and, with your permission, it would not be accessioned but would form part of our valued “handling” collection.

If your donation is not suitable for our collections, we will inform you of the decision and reasons why. It may be that, for a number of reasons, we cannot accept your offer. Please do not be offended. It could be that we already have a similar item in the collection or it is an item that we do not collect. Sometimes another museum might provide a more suitable home for your object and our staff will be able to advise you if this is the case.