Artifact Donation FAQ

The Elbert County Historical Society & Museum relies on generous donations from people like you to enhance our collections.

How do I go about donating an item to the Museum’s collections?
Items donated are deemed to be unconditional gifts and must meet the following criteria in order to be accepted into our collection:

  • Artifacts must be historically significant, meaning they would contribute to an understanding of past human behavior, customs, activities, events, institutions and personalities.  The artifacts collected must be historically significant to Elbert County, Colorado.  It is preferred that objects have an interesting story to tell about county residents, places and/or events.
  • In general we collect from 1874 to the present, but will consider older items if they contribute to telling the story of human occupation in Elbert County, Colorado.
  • Artifacts must be in reasonable condition so that the Museum may fulfill its goal of preservation with as little conservation or restoration as possible.
  • Books may be accepted if they enhance our ability to research existing collections, relate to the history of Colorado, or are by Colorado authors.
  • Objects that do not meet our mission may be accepted for our education collection.  These are items that can be handled and are expected to be hands-on.
  • Duplicate items will only be accepted if the new item provides a more interesting story or if existing items are in poor condition.

Objects must be approved by the Acquisitions Committee in order to be accepted as a donation to the permanent collection. PLEASE NOTE:  Artifacts left at the front door may be considered trash and thrown away.

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, but you will need to have the value determined by an independent appraisal.  To find out more information about your item, including evaluation of condition, authenticity and value, you will need to contact an appraiser who specializes in the type of material you have.  IRS regulations and policies prohibit museum staff and volunteers from appraising artifacts.

When will my artifact be on exhibit?
The Museum cannot guarantee when or where the specific items will be exhibited.  Only a small fraction of the collection is on exhibit at any one time.

Will the Museum take my object on loan if I don’t want to donate it?
Absolutely!  Many institutions and individuals have generously loaned their items to the Museum’s collections.  Items loaned must meet the same criteria as those donated.

If the Museum doesn’t want it, what can I do with it?
Other family members might be interested in having it.. it couldn’t hurt to ask!  There may be other museums who would love to have your item.  You might also consider donating the items to a school or university.  If you are interested in selling your items, you could try e-bay or an antique store.

If you have any additional questions or wish to donate or loan an artifact, please contact us.